A total of 26 opposition parties met in Bengaluru for the second day on 18 july 2023, and named the alliance as INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). The BJP held a meeting for 38 National Democratic Alliance parties in New Delhi.
According to sources, Sonia Gandhi chaired UPA 1 and 2 between 2004 and 2014, stayed in the government and floated as a candidate to lead the new coalition. PTI made a statement that the parties are also expected to reach a common declaration and conclude a Committee for the functioning of the group. They shall also announce two sub commissions, which will finalize the common minimum programme along with the communications points and a second committee to draw joint opposition programmes for events, rallies and conventions.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, the chief ministers of West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Jharkhand, as well as previous chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra were also present at the meeting, along with the presidents and leaders of various parties.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress party announced on the second and final day of the opposition unity meeting in Bengaluru that a coalition of 26 like minded parties would be named India’s National Developmental inclusive Alliance(INDIA). “We’ll fight together for 2024 Lok Sabha elections and succeed”, Mr. Kharge said. While the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stated that the fight is not merely between the Opposition and the Centre, “but it’s between the idea of India and the idea of BJP ”.
Sharad Pawar, the leader of the NCP, attended the opposition unity meeting in Bengaluru, which was held to discuss a name for the coalition of 26 opposition parties, a structure and a shared agenda in preparation for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Rahul Gandhi wrote on Facebook, “To protect democracy and to safeguard the Constitution of India, we shall be a united opposition.” The agenda includes discussions on the sharing of seats and differences between regional organizations, they said. The violence ravaged issue of Manipur state has been discussed along with the issue of delegation of parties. The issue regarding electronic voting machines was also discussed in the meeting.
Along with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah many other people like Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Akhilesh Yadav (SP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena-UBT), Farooq Abdullah (NC) and Mehbooba Mufti (PDP), besides Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI), Jayant Chaudhary (RLD) and MDMK MP Vaiko had attended the meeting.
On Tuesday, the BJP organized a meeting of 38 political parties from the NDA in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has presided over the NDA meeting. The meeting of the NDA was organized to mark the completion of nine years of the central government under PM Modi. Although there is a lot of talk about unity, the task remains to reconcile the political interests between opposition parties, specifically those which were traditionally rivals.
On June 23, nearly 15 parties, including the Congress, AAP, CPI, TMC, CPI-M, NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT),RJD, JMM, SP and the JDU had attended the last meeting for the opposition unity hosted by the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna. This time, other parties including the MDMK, KDMK, VCK, RSP, CPI-ML, Forward Bloc, IUML, Kerala Congress (Joseph), and Kerala Congress (Mani), in addition to Krishna Patel’s Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) and M H Jawahirullah’s Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) of Tamil Nadu. Nearly 150 opposition parties in the House of Commons have participated in this meeting.