The new opposition alliance will be called INDIA I – Indian N – National D – Developmental I – Inclusive A – Alliance where 26 political parties came together.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, DK Shivakumar from the Congress has been assigned the responsibility of overseeing all the arrangements for the meeting. Luxurious accommodation at a five-star hotel in the city has been arranged for all the opposition leaders.
Rahul Gandhi called a “Modi versus I.N.D.I.A” battle for the 2024 general elections. “We are defending the Constitution, the voice of Indians, and the idea of India. You know what happens to anyone who wants to fight the idea of India… The fight is between NDA and I.N.D.I.A, Narendra Modi and I.N.D.I.A, his ideology, and I.N.D.I.A. India always wins all fights,” said Mr Gandhi. “The fight is about two different ideas of India… The voice of the country is being stifled. The fight is for the voice of the country. So this name was chosen — I.N.D.I.A,” he added.
After the meeting, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge addressed the media and expressed concerns about the BJP’s alleged attempts to undermine democracy and the Constitution by exploiting autonomous bodies such as the CBI, ED, and vigilance organizations to target opposition leaders and workers. Kharge emphasized the gravity of the situation and stated that the opposition parties had united to address this challenge. The primary focus is on finding ways to safeguard the country and its people.
When questioned about the leadership of the alliance, Kharge mentioned the formation of a coordination committee consisting of 11 members. The specific individuals and the convenor will be decided during the upcoming meeting in Mumbai, he explained, highlighting that these are minor details.
During the press conference, Mamata Banerjee, acknowledging the presence of all the leaders, referred to Rahul Gandhi as “our favourite.” She characterized today’s meeting as highly productive, constructive, and fruitful. Banerjee added that the forthcoming meeting in Mumbai will also focus on developing a Common Minimum Programme.
It is interesting that the 26 political parties previously did not have the best relations and at times had been squabbling bitterly actually came together in a historic move. The main Opposition Congress voiced that seat-sharing to be mutually discussed by all leaders.
In preparation for the upcoming 2024 General election, leaders from a minimum of 26 Opposition parties convened at the Taj West End Hotel to discuss crucial issues. Their aim is to present a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Center.
As the 26 prominent opposition parties gather in Bengaluru, the BJP is poised to counter the alliance of 38 parties that have aligned themselves with the National Democratic Alliance.
Opposition leaders posters in Bangalore were shared in a video.
Opposition leaders posters in Bangalore 🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/8U9pWFqjZq
— Surbhi (@SurrbhiM) July 17, 2023
Leaders are from 26 opposition parties, in power individually or in alliance in Delhi and 10 states, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Aam Aadmi Party, Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena (UBT), Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, AAP, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, Revolutionary Socialist Party, All India Forward Bloc, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress (M), and Kerala Congress (Joseph).
There is a question stirring as to why the Opposition did not invite Asaduddin Owaisi
Asaduddin Owaisi President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen representing the Hyderabad constituency in Lok Sabha was not invited to this alliance. He criticized this move and it was evident he was hurt. He voiced disappointment over the Opposition not inviting CM KCR to the opposition meeting as well. Asaduddin Owaisi said, “They have not invited our Telangana CM to the meeting. He is not an ordinary person but a major player in politics.”
However, the main reason could be the surmounting fear from the Opposition that Mr. Owaisi may have a secret deal with the BJP. They believe that the BJP and Asaduddin Owaisi have an understanding. Going back in time, the Opposition has accused Asaduddin Owaisi of sticking a secret deal with Amit Shah for the Bihar polls in 2016: Ex-BJP MLA where Yatin Oza, a former MLA from the BJP in 2016 made a statement today alleging that BJP President Amit Shah and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi reached an agreement during a meeting before the Bihar Assembly polls. Oza claimed that the purpose of this alleged deal was to “polarize” votes in the Muslim-dominated northern belt. The BJP state unit denied these allegations but there is a lingering fear that it might happen.
Another reason could be that Asaduddin Owaisi has been a very vocal critic of the main Opposition and especially Rahul Gandhi whereas the other opposition leaders have tempered down their criticism. It has been perceived that for the better good of India, the Opposition has to unite to save institutions from being run over by a despotic government, hard privatization that wipes out the middle class, and protect the Constitution from Manusmṛiti which would dissolve the Constitution over time.
A section of Muslims who support Mr. Owaisi allege that Congress and other seculars do not want to give leadership to the Muslims. They say that the same thing happened before the partition during which time there was a tussle for leadership where there was a fight about whether the prime minister’s appointment would go to Jinnah or Nehru.
It is the opinion of others that the Opposition did not invite Asaduddin Owaisi to their INDIA meeting because they did not want to disturb Hindu secular votes.
It is not that this alliance has not included the parties led by Muslims such as Mehbooba Mufti leading the PDP and the Indian Union Muslim League whom the Opposition invited and were present at the meeting.
The big roasting question is why was Asaduddin Owaisi left out of the alliance while other Muslim parties were included.
In a Nutshell
While BJP has the money and power, being backed by heavy taxes, the support of business tycoons and pro-Modi NRIs overseas who vociferously support Manusmṛiti denouncing religious freedom, the democrats who want to see equality and financial growth had to choose to take a path to unite to prevent the BJP from winning the 2024 elections. Somewhere, every party leader had to swallow a bit of pride and ego and be willing to take what it does to prevent BJP from taking a victorious political takeaway in 2024. As evident from the name, INDIA I – Indian N – National D – Developmental I – Inclusive A – Alliance, the union stands for inclusiveness and development for the people of India as their focus, not religious polarization.