The opposition bloc, Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), is set to engage in a virtual meeting today to deliberate on seat-sharing arrangements with its constituents. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh announced the meeting’s details on social media, revealing it will be conducted via Zoom at 11:30 am.
Amid preparations for the upcoming Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, led by senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the virtual meeting holds paramount importance. The yatra aims to unite the opposition against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the imminent Lok Sabha elections.
As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections approach, members of the INDIA bloc express a keen interest in finalizing seat-sharing arrangements. This process is deemed crucial for INDIA bloc allies, especially given the emphasis on creating one-on-one contests with the BJP. However, challenges may arise in states where INDIA allies find themselves competing against each other.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee is expected to skip the virtual meeting due to prior commitments. This adds complexity to the internal issues faced by the INDIA alliance, including the contentious appointment of a convenor, a role for which the Janata Dal-United (JDU) has suggested Nitish Kumar, opposed by Banerjee’s TMC. The discussions on Saturday are crucial for shaping the opposition’s united strategy ahead of the elections.
The recent meeting follows talks between senior leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress to discuss seat-sharing arrangements in key states like Delhi and Punjab. This meeting aimed to address existing rifts and lasted over two hours at Congress leader Mukul Wasnik’s residence. Both parties are working towards solidifying their alliance to present a unified front against the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Congress leader Salman Khurshid, a member of the seat-sharing committee, described the meeting as “wonderful” and beyond expectations. Both parties aim to overcome their historical rivalry in Delhi and Punjab, where the AAP overtook the Congress, to ensure a strong opposition alliance against the BJP.
INDIA party leaders will be meeting over Zoom tomorrow January 13th, 2024 at 11:30 am. They will review various issues like seat-sharing talks that have begun, participation in Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that will begin from Thoubal near Imphal day after tomorrow, and other important…
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) January 12, 2024
The Congress has named the second leg of the Gandhi-led march as Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, inviting all INDIA leaders to join wherever feasible. Commencing in Manipur’s Thoubal district, the yatra will traverse 15 states, 110 districts, and 110 Lok Sabha seats, covering a distance of 6,713km over 67 days.
The journey will conclude in Mumbai on March 20, following the footsteps of last year’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, where Gandhi walked 4,080km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.