JK News Today

Mumbai: Opposition alliance, INDIA, today announced that they will contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2024 together – “as far as possible”

The bloc announced a 13-member coordination committee that will act as the “highest decision-making body”.

Congress’ K C Venugopal, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, AAP’s Raghav Chadha, Samajwadi Party’s Javed Ali Khan, JDU’s Lallan Singh, CPI leader D Raja, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti are part of the key panel.

Seat-sharing arrangements will be initiated immediately and concluded at earliest in collaborative spirit of give-and-take, the resolution adopted at the meeting said. Sources say the seat sharing will be finalised by September 30.

This is INDIA’s third meeting. The alliance leaders had earlier met in Patna and Bengaluru. They are also expected to chalk out a campaign strategy and finalise the formal structure of the bloc.

The alliance is also likely to hold discussions on whether to have a convenor or not. The other agenda at the crucial meeting include appointment of spokespersons, sources say, adding that the grouping’s logo will be unveiled later.

Besides the coordination committee, there will be four sub-groups to plan the campaign and rallies, handle social media and manage the data, sources said.

While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is learnt to have told the leaders that the bloc should release its manifesto by October 2, Mr Kharge asked them to prepare a common agenda to counter the BJP on national level.

Last night, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray hosted a formal dinner for the Opposition leaders. At the meeting, several leaders expressed apprehension about early polls. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the opposition should be ready to take on the NDA’s “surprise element strategy and gimmicks.”

The government has called for a “special session of Parliament” to be held from September 18 to 22, drawing strong criticism from the Opposition. Government sources have, so far, been tight-lipped on possible agendas.

The leaders said they have come together to save the Constitution and democracy and that the alliance is working to unite the country. “It is not just a coalition of parties but that of ideas, ” said RJD leader Manoj Jha.