Opposition INDIA bloc to hold first joint public meeting in Bhopal, start seat-sharing talks

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The opposition INDIA bloc has decided to hold its first joint public meeting in Bhopal in the first week of October, and will start seat-sharing talks at the earliest.

The decision was taken at the first meeting of the coordination committee of the INDIA grouping, which was held at the residence of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by 12 of the 14 members of the panel, including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress’ K C Venugopal, Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren, CPI’s D Raja, SP’s Jawed Ali Khan, DMK’s T R Baalu, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, AAP MP Raghav Chadha, JD(U)’s Sanjay Jha, NC leader Omar Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut.

The leaders present at the meeting agreed to raise issues related to rising prices, unemployment, corruption, and caste census at the public meeting in Bhopal. They also authorized the sub-group of media to decide upon the names of the anchors on whose shows none of the INDIA parties will send their representatives.

The resolution issued on September 1, after the third meeting of the bloc in Mumbai, said the parties would contest polls together “as far as possible”, and that seat sharing in arrangements in different states would be “initiated immediately” and concluded “at the earliest”.

Sources said that leaders of several opposition parties have sought an early seat-sharing formula to be worked out to ensure that a joint opposition candidate is put up against BJP candidates in Lok Sabha seats. However, several leaders said that the parties have to “shed their egos” and “vested interests” in arriving at such a formula.

The INDIA bloc is a grouping of over two dozen opposition parties that have formed to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance unitedly in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The bloc was formed in June at a meeting in Patna, where it was decided that the strongest candidate from each seat would be picked up for the Lok Sabha polls.

The bloc has been holding regular meetings to chalk out its strategy for the upcoming elections. The next meeting of the coordination committee is likely to be held in the coming weeks.


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