Faced with Hindi heartland losses, Congress dials 'INDIA' bloc for meeting on Wednesday in Delhi

World Sunday 03/December/2023 10:19 AM
Faced with Hindi heartland losses, Congress dials 'INDIA' bloc for meeting on Wednesday in Delhi

New Delhi : As the Congress faces a rout in the Hindi heartland with early trends pointing to potential electrol losses in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and a likely loss in Chhattisgarh, the Grand Old Party has fallen back on its friends calling for a meeting of the INDIA bloc next week. The opposition bloc, having parties who are like-minded and largely anti-BJP, had three meetings so far, each in Patna, Bengaluru, and Mumbai earlier this year.

Ahead of the next meeting, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has dialled his alliance partners and invited them to converge. Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar faction) leader Supriya Sule had given a hint after the Mumbai meeting that the next meeting will be held in the National capital.

Seat sharing for Lok Sabha polls, which is just four to five months away, is likely to be on the top of the agenda. The next INDIA bloc meeting would also be crucial for Congress, particularly so, as early trends show the party losing Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, the two Hindi heartland states which send a large number of members to the Parliament.

However, the Congress could find the going tough in this meeting with key ally Samajwadi Party having struck a beligerent tone against the Congress in the assembly elections. SP boss Akhilesh Yadav had accused the Congress of betraying the SP by not giving it tickets to contest in a potential alliance with the Congress in MP.

The Congress now desperately needs the alliance to take off ift harbours any hope of giving Narendra Modi and the BJP competition in the 2024 election.

INDIA or 'Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance' is a group of 28 opposition parties, including the Congress. The parties have come together to take on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is led by PM Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and prevent it from winning a third straight term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The first meeting of the joint opposition convened in Patna on June 23 and the second meeting was held in Bengaluru on July 17-18. The third meeting happened in Mumbai during August 31-September 1.

In the Mumbai meeting, the opposition parties adopted resolutions to collectively contest the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections while announcing that seat-sharing arrangements would be finalized as soon as possible through a spirit of give-and-take.

The theme they have chosen for the elections is "Judega Bharat, Jeetega India" (India will unite, India will win) to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

The resolution also mentioned that the parties will organise public rallies at the earliest in different parts of the country on issues of public concern and importance.