INDIA bloc meeting postponed after key leaders decide to skip December 6 huddle
A meeting of chiefs of the member parties will be convened possibly in the third week of December.
The Opposition bloc, Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), will conduct its fourth meeting in Delhi tomorrow, however with the members of Parliament. According to member of Congress Working Committee Gurdeep Singh Sappal, the Opposition alliance will move ahead with the co-ordination meeting, which is likely to talk about the strategy and sharing of seats ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2024, with the MPs of different member parties. However, a meeting of party chiefs of the member parties will be convened in the third week of December.
“A coordination meeting of Parliamentary Party leaders of India Alliance will be at 6 pm on December 6th, 2023 at the residence of Congress President Sh. Mallikarjun Kharge. Thereafter, meeting of Party Presidents/ Heads of the India Alliance will be scheduled in the third week of December at a date convenient to all,” the Congress leader wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
The December 6 meeting will be held at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's residence in Delhi, where all 28 members of the coalition are likely to chalk out the final strategy to take on the ruling BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The main agenda of the meeting is likely to be surrounding the sharing of seats.
At least three heads of member parties including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav have decided to skip the meeting. While all the key leaders say they are occupied with prearranged events, the Bengal CM claimed she was not made aware of the meeting in advance.
"I have got 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," Banerjee said during a media briefing.
Among other leaders, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin will not attend the meeting, ANI reported citing sources. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is also likely to skip the huddle owing to his illness.
The INDIA bloc had convened three meetings so far – Patna on June 23; Bengaluru on July 17-18; Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.
BJP takes jibe at the Opposition
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party took the opportunity to slam the Opposition alliance and said the West Bengal CM has realised that “there is no future in INDIA bloc.”
“Mamata Banerjee has understood that there is no future of the INDIA alliance that's why she is skipping the meeting,” West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said.
BJP MP Dilip Ghosh asked the whereabouts of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who spearheaded the Opposition coalition, and said the action by Mamata Banerjee is “confusing” people.
"This is their internal matter. Where is the INDIA alliance? They had tea together thrice and became an alliance. Nitish Kumar took up its leadership. Where is he today? He doesn't attend the meetings. Mamata Banerjee went there and saw that nothing was going to come out of it so she then sent her nephew. Now, she too doesn't go and says that she doesn't know about it...People are confused," he said.
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