INDIA bloc meet postponed after Nitish, Akhilesh, and top leaders opt for ‘no-show’ | Mint
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Business News/ Politics / News/  INDIA bloc meet postponed after Nitish, Akhilesh, and top leaders opt for ‘no-show’
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INDIA bloc meet postponed after Nitish, Akhilesh, and top leaders opt for ‘no-show’

During a media address on Monday, the West Bengal CM stated that her party was not informed about the INDIA bloc's intention to convene a session in New Delhi.

Opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc leaders. (Hindustan Times) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc leaders. (Hindustan Times) (HT_PRINT)

The scheduled meeting of the INDIA opposition bloc in Delhi which was set to take place on Wednesday, has been postponed.

As reported by NDTV citing sources, the meeting of the opposition's INDIA bloc that was slated to take place on December 6 has been postponed.

This development coincides with the timing when Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav are contemplating abstaining from the meeting.

As reported by India Today, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is expected to be absent from the forthcoming opposition INDIA bloc meeting. Instead, the meeting will be represented by JD(U) chief Lalan Singh and Bihar's Minister of Water Resources, Sanjay Kumar Jha, as per available information, the report stated.

India Today reported citing Congress sources that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin is unable to attend the meeting due to the closure of Chennai airport caused by Cyclone Michaung. Nitish Kumar is reportedly unwell, while Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav have conveyed that they have prior commitments, making their participation uncertain.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary stated that the party's leader, Akhilesh Yadav, has ‘no intention’ of participating in the upcoming INDIA bloc meeting. The scheduled December 6 assembly marks a three-month hiatus since the last one in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.

Also Read: How INDIA bloc's power dynamics is likely to shift after Congress's loss in Assembly Election 2023. Explained

Earlier on Monday, Banerjee expressed her lack of awareness regarding any such meeting. During a media address on Monday, the West Bengal CM stated that her party was not informed about the INDIA bloc's intention to convene a session in New Delhi.

"I don't know, I have no information so I kept a programme in North Bengal...If we had the information, we wouldn't have scheduled those programmes. We would have definitely gone (for the meeting), but we have not received any information," TMC chief said, as reported by ANI.

Meanwhile, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has reached out to his alliance partners, extending invitations for a meet. Following the Mumbai meeting, Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar faction) leader Supriya Sule hinted that the next assembly would take place in the national capital, ANI reported.

With the Lok Sabha polls merely four to five months away, discussions on seat-sharing are expected to dominate the agenda.

The forthcoming INDIA bloc meeting holds significant importance for the Congress, especially in the aftermath of the party's loss in the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls – key states in the Hindi heartland contributing significantly to parliamentary representation.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Polls 2024: INDIA bloc's seat-sharing on cards? Congress calls for Opposition meeting on 6 December

However, Congress might face challenges during this meeting, particularly with its crucial ally, the Samajwadi Party, adopting a confrontational stance following the assembly elections.

Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, accused the Congress of betrayal, alleging that the Congress did not allocate tickets to the Samajwadi Party for potential collaboration in Madhya Pradesh.

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

Also Read: Seat-sharing talks in INDIA bloc still hanging after more than 50 days

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 inaugural joint opposition gathering took place in Patna on June 23, followed by the second meeting in Bengaluru on July 17-18. Subsequently, the third meeting occurred in Mumbai from August 31 to September 1.

Also Read: 2024 Lok Sabha Polls: ‘Remain neutral’, INDIA bloc accuses Google, Facebook of aiding communal hatred

During the Mumbai meeting, opposition parties collectively resolved to contest the forthcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. They declared an intention to finalize seat-sharing arrangements promptly, emphasizing a collaborative approach.

The chosen theme for the elections is "Judega Bharat, Jeetega India" (India will unite, India will win), signalling their collective effort to challenge the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 05 Dec 2023, 09:59 AM IST
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