Opposition alliance to be called INDIA, 11-member coordination committee to be set up

The opposition alliance that will take on the ruling NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be called Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) and an 11-member committee will be set up for coordination, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced on Tuesday.
Addressing a joint press conference after a meeting of 26 opposition parties in Bengaluru, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said they have decided to prepare an action plan where they will talk about their ideology and programmes.
“The fight is against the ideology of the BJP and their thinking, they are attacking the country, unemployment is rampant, and the country’s wealth is being taken away from millions and handed over in the hands of a few,” Gandhi said.
Kharge said that the second meeting of the opposition bloc was a very important one for saving democracy and the Constitution in the interest of the country’s people.
“We have come together and discussed various points. With one voice, people supported the resolution adopted today,” he said.
“Our alliance will be called Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA),” Kharge said.
According to multiple sources, the name was suggested by TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and there was a lot of discussion on the full form of the term, INDIA.
The Congress president said an 11-member coordination committee will be set up and its composition will be finalised in the next meeting in Mumbai. The dates for the Mumbai meeting will be announced soon, he added.
Kharge said a common secretariat will also be set up in Delhi for campaign management and specific committees will be formed for separate issues.
He also launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he is now trying to bring together parties that had splintered and this shows that “he is afraid of opposition parties”.
“There are some differences between us but we have put that behind… We are together in the interest of the country,” Kharge said. “We’ll fight the 2024 Lok Sabha elections unitedly and succeed,” he said.
In her remarks at the presser, Banerjee, while acknowledging all leaders present, referred to Rahul Gandhi as “our favourite”.
Referring to the name of the alliance adopted, Banerjee said, “BJP, can you challenge INDIA? We love our motherland, we are the patriotic people of the country, we are for farmers, Dalits, we are for the country, for the world.”
The only job the regime at the Centre does today is to buy and sell governments, she alleged.
“INDIA will win, our country will win and BJP will lose,” Banerjee said.
Gandhi said the fight was not between the opposition parties and the BJP, but it was “fight for the idea of India that was being attacked”.
“That is why this name was chosen. Fight is between NDA and INDIA, Between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and INDIA, between their (the BJP’s) ideology and INDIA. You know what happens when someone stands against India, who wins,” the former Congress chief said.
“We (opposition parties) are defending the Indian Constitution, voice of the people and the idea of our great county. You know what happens to those who fight the idea of India. This is the fight between the idea of India and the BJP,” Gandhi said.
Asked about who would be the face of the alliance, Kharge did not give a direct answer and said the coordination committee and a convenor will also be named.
In his remarks at the presser, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal said Prime Minister Modi got the opportunity to do a lot for the country in nine years, but no development has happened in any sector.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said there can be differences on ideology but the country is the most important.
Taking a swipe at the BJP, he said some people saying “we are fighting for family”, they should know that “the country is our family and we are fighting for our country”.
The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) party chief asserted that the opposition parties’ fight is not against a person but against “dictatorship”.
“People are feeling afraid as to what will happen, we want to say to them that there was a movie ‘Main Hoon Na’, so they should not worry, ‘Hum hain na’,” he said.
One person and one party is not the country, Thackeray said.
Top opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Kharge, chief ministers of West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra along with presidents and leaders of several parties attended the meeting. (PTI)