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The Battle For 2024 Begins: 26 Parties Join Hands Against BJP-Led NDA, Name Alliance 'I-N-D-I-A'

Braving internal contradictions and federal investigative agencies' pursuit, the 26 Opposition parties in Bengaluru formalised their united front against the Bharatitya Janata Party (BJP). In 2024, it's going to the 26-party-strong INDIA vs Narendra Modi's NDA.

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Twenty-six Opposition parties have come together under the formal coalition of 'Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance' (INDIA).
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Giving a clarion call to the fight for their idea of India, the 26 Opposition parties on Tuesday came together under a coalition named 'Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance' (INDIA) and laid the groundwork for a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The combined Opposition has a simple message: It's INDIA vs NDA and it's INDIA vs Narendra Modi.

The country is used to the oratory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has coined one phrase after another over the past nine years, and now the Opposition appears to have taken a leaf out of his notebook. By naming their coalition INDIA, the Opposition has put the BJP and Modi in a tough spot. How are they going to bash INDIA in their speeches? How are they going to say from the stage that the BJP and NDA are going to defeat INDIA? 

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To save their idea of India, which remains undefined amid internal contradictions, the Opposition has come together under INDIA. 

Speaking at the press conference after the two-day brainstorming session, Congress scion Rahul Gandhi said they deliberated in their discussions who they are fighting. He said the fight is not between the Opposition and the Government, but it's the fight for the voice of India. Hence the name: INDIA. 

The 26 parties braved internal contradictions and unanimously approved the coalition's name, which is bound to raise the electoral fervour. 

INDIA to have 11-member coordination panel

Congress President Mallikarjuna Kharge, who chaired the Opposition meeting in Bengaluru, announced in the press conference on Tuesday that the INDIA coalition would have an 11-member coordination committee that would be announced soon. 

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Kharge, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, also announced that the INDIA coalition would have a joint secretariat in Delhi for joint campaigning. 

Kharge also announced that the next meeting would be held in Mumbai and the date would be announced soon. He also said that the name of the coalition was chosen unanimously. The Mumbai meeting would also deliberate on the convenor of the coordination committee, said Kharge.

While the Opposition came together for the name, no face of the coalition or a common programme has yet emerged. However, Kharge did seem to address some internal contradictions of the grouping. He said the parties comprising INDIA have put their internal differences behind them and not at the front. 

Ham hain na: Uddhav Thackeray

Seeking to reassure the country, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray drew upon the Shah Rukh Khan's hit film's title and said 'ham hain na (we are here)'. 

Uddhav drew a parallel between the fight against Modi and the fight for Independence and said that the country is today witnessing dictatorship under Modi.

On the charge that the 26 Opposition parties have come together to save families, as a number of parties are family-based parties, Uddhav said that the country is definitely their family and they have come together to save that family. 

It's INDIA Vs Modi, it's for the voice of India: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the coalition INDIA stands for the idea of the India and is waging a fight for the voice of India. 

Rahul also said that the fight is against the BJP's ideology which is attacking the nation, the spreading unemployment, and the handover of national wealth to a select few people. 

Rahul said that, during their discussions, they discussed whom they are fighting. He said the fight is not between the Opposition and the Government.

"It's NDA vs INDIA. It's INDIA Vs Modi," said Rahul.

"Whenever someone stands against India, you know who wins," said Rahul, adding that the coalition would soon come up with an action plan for their idea of India

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INDIA resolution seeks caste census, addresses violence against minorities 

The INDIA resolution, dubbed 'Samuhik Sankalp (joint resolution)', sought caste census and addressed issues like violence against minorities and the situation in Manipur where ethnic violence has gripped the state for over two months. 

The resolution said that the 26 Opposition parties have come together to defeat the "hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities" as well as "rising crimes against women, Dalits, tribals and Kashmiri Pandits", reported PTI.

The Opposition parties expressed "grave concern" over the "humanitarian tragedy" that has "destroyed" Manipur. Earlier, the Opposition parties have also criticised Modi for being silent on Manipur.

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The resolution also said that the Modi government is weakening the federal structures and Governors in Opposition-ruled states are going beyond their mandates.

"There is a deliberate attempt to weaken the federal structure of our polity. The role of governors and LGs (lieutenant governor) in non-BJP ruled states has exceeded all constitutional norms," said the resolution, as per PTI, which added that the Opposition parties also alleged that the "brazen misuse" of agencies by the BJP government against political rivals is undermining democracy.

As many Opposition leaders are under investigation by federal agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Opposition has in recent time alleged that these agencies are being used as a sword-arm of the ruling party and the investigations and imprisonment of leaders are politically-motivated actions. 

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On the economy, the Opposition parties' resolution mentioned demonetisation's effect and touched upon unemployment and price-rose. 

The resolution stated, "We reinforce our resolve to confront the grave economic crisis of ever-rising prices of essential commodities and record unemployment. Demonetisation brought with it untold misery to the MSME and unorganised sectors, resulting in large scale unemployment among our youth. We oppose the reckless sale of the nation's wealth to favoured friends.

"We must build a fair economy with a strong and strategic public sector as well as a competitive and flourishing private sector, in which the spirit of enterprise is fostered and given every opportunity to expand. The welfare of Kisan and Khet Mazdur should always get the highest priority."

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The resolution also addressed the violence against women and minorities, saying that the parties have come together to "defeat the hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities". 

"We have come together to defeat the hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities; stop the rising crimes against women, Dalits, adivasis and Kashmiri Pandits; demand a fair hearing for all socially, educationally and economically backward communities; and, as a first step, implement the caste census," said the resolution passed by the 26 Opposition parties in Bengaluru, which said they passed it "in one voice" at the meeting. 

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