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Opposition’s 26 parties meet in Bengaluru Vs NDA’s show of strength with 38 in Delhi

The NDA meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting of the NDA is being organised to mark the completion of 9 years of the central government under PM Modi.

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New Delhi: The second and concluding day of the opposition unity meeting in Bengaluru is set to begin here on Tuesday, with 26 like-minded parties closing ranks with a common aim of taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, will be holding a meeting of 38 parties of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the national capital on Tuesday. The NDA meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting of the NDA is being organised to mark the completion of 9 years of the central government under PM Modi.

Meanwhile, the first day of the Opposition party’s meeting started with the dinner meeting hosted by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

After the dinner Congress leader BK Hariprasad said that the meeting started with a good signal and it would be the end of BJP in 2024.

On being asked about the NDA meeting scheduled to be held in Delhi, he said, “That would be National Disaster Alliance”.

Earlier, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav hoped that the people of the country would hand the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a massive defeat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

“…2/3rd of the population is going to defeat BJP. I hope that the people of the country will give BJP a massive defeat…I am receiving inputs from all corners of the country that the BJP will be wiped out…,” SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said ahead of the Opposition meeting.

Meanwhile, the draft agenda of the joint opposition meeting set up a subcommittee for drafting the common minimum programme and communications points for the alliance for the 2024 general elections for chalking out the joint programme of parties, which includes rallies, conventions and agitation.

They plan to discuss the process for deciding seat sharing on a state-to-state basis and the name for the alliance is also on the table. The opposition parties may also discuss the issue of EVM and suggest reforms to the Election Commission. The opposition leaders also set up a common secretariat for the proposed alliance.

Moreover, several committees are expected to be formed which will hold meetings to deliberate on various issues pertaining to the alliance. Various groups and sub-groups may also be formed.

In this meeting, a convenor may be appointed and groups formed to decide on various issues apart from deciding on a common minimum programme.
Sources said Congress is keen that the chairperson should be from the party as it is the largest party in the grouping. However, the party may not be not adamant on the matter and would be willing to go by the combined decision of opposition parties, sources said.

They said no one has any objection to the name of former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. She is also not a contender for the post of Prime Minister and is attending the two-day opposition meeting.

The sources said that opposition parties are keen not to make the 2024 Lok Sabha polls a battle between “a leader vs Modi” but to keep the focus on issues and make it a “Modi vs people” battle.

They said that some parties had proposed making Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar the convenor of the grouping in the meeting of opposition parties held in Patna last month and if there is a unanimity on the matter, the Congress would go along.

The sources said there is a proposal to make two-three subgroups or a coordination committee.

There is a suggestion that a group should be formed to decide on issues to be raised collectively against the Narendra Modi government. Any such group may also be entrusted with deciding the issues on which to hold agitations against the government and to stay away from issues that could help the BJP by causing “polarization”.

Sources said there is a proposal to form a group to decide on seat allocation in states.

They said that since leaders of 26 opposition parties cannot hold meetings in a short period, there is a proposal to form a group for coordination. “There is also a proposal to formulate a common minimum programme,” a source said.
They said all issues will be discussed in the meeting and decision t taken on those on which there is an agreement.

The issues on which there is no agreement will be discussed further, they said.

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal lashed out at the BJP-led government and said the opposition parties are all united by a common purpose – to protect democracy in this country, to ensure the Constitutional rights and the independence of our institutions.

“These all are under attack by the present regime of the BJP Govt. They wanted to silence the Opposition’s voice. They are misusing agencies to suppress the voice of the Opposition. The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Parliament is one of the biggest examples of that. The incident happening in Maharashtra is also an example,” he said.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said that opposition leaders will hold discussions on many issues including EVM machines during the second joint opposition meeting in Bengaluru.

“Agenda of today’s meeting is to be one. Discussion will be held on many issues including EVM machines, Lok Sabha seat sharing, what will be the name of the front,” he said.

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