‘I-N-D-I-A’ Name Finalised For 26-Party Opposition Coalition

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The name I-N-D-I-A has been finalised to brand the 26 opposition parties that are meeting in Bengaluru today to streamline a strategy and pose a united front to take on the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, sources have said. 

At the meeting, the acronym I-N-D-I-A, or the Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance was suggested to name the mega opposition front that seeks to take on the ruling party, the BJP. According to sources, Left parties wanted the word ‘Alliance’ to be changed to ‘Front’ while some parties were not too keen on ‘NDA’ in the name.

The first day of the meeting was informal, with discussions followed by a dinner. Today, the meeting will become more formal, with deliberations on the grand alliance’s name. At the dinner meeting yesterday, all political parties were asked to suggest names, and these will be discussed and a consensus will be reached during the meeting.

According to sources, former UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is set to be named as the President of the Front, with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the Convenor. Mrs Gandhi served as the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) from 2004 to 2014.

In addition, two subcommittees will be formed: one to finalise the common minimum program and communication points, and the other to plan joint opposition events, rallies, and conventions.

In Bengaluru, besides Mrs Gandhi, the opposition meet is being attended by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Chief Ministers MK Stalin, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal, Hemant Soren, Mamata Banerjee, and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad. 

NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) leader HD Kumaraswamy did not attend the first day of the opposition meeting. Although Mr Pawar arrived in Bengaluru today, it is unclear whether Mr Kumaraswamy will attend the meeting or not. 

“All parties having the will and guts to fight the BJP are welcome,” said Congress leader Pawan Khera.

“Like-minded opposition parties shall closely work together to foster an agenda of social justice, inclusive development and national welfare. We want to free the people of India from the autocratic and anti-people politics of hate, division, economic inequality and loot… United We Stand, for this India,” said Mallikarjun Kharge.

The opposition meeting in Bengaluru coincides with the NDA meeting in Delhi, where the BJP, eying a grand show of strength, has announced a mega meet of its own involving 38 parties.

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