On Tuesday, more than two dozen opposition groups in India announced that they had united under the banner of "INDIA" to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is now in power.
The Opposition's four-hour conference on Tuesday came to an end with the 26 parties announcing the acronym INDIA, which stands for Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance. They cast the election of 2024 as a conflict between the BJP and the rest of the nation. According to insiders, the name was chosen even before the leaders met on Tuesday morning.
At the conclusion of a two-day gathering of 26 opposition parties in Bengaluru, Kharge told reporters, "The main aim is to stand together to safeguard democracy and the constitution." Their second gathering in a month was held to provide a platform before the elections.
The Opposition leaders were coy about who had the idea for the name initially but reports claim that a small number of politicians gathered following the dinner thrown by the Congress. There were several names mentioned among this bunch. Rahul Gandhi, the former president of the Congress, had emphasised the widening gap between "two Indias" during the "Bharat Jodo Yatra, and the Congress wanted the alliance's name to reflect this.
According to sources, the name struck a chord with the group as a whole, particularly as many believed it was past time for the Opposition to reclaim the "nationalism" platform, which the BJP has been monopolising. However, the Trinamool Congress was urged to suggest the name during the conference in line with the Congress' present goal of not being perceived as an overt driver of the Opposition grouping. The main focus of the discussions was to choose a name that would successfully contradict the BJP's "nationalism" narrative, leading to the name INDIA. Other names that were taken into consideration were "People's Alliance for India," "Indian People's Front," and "Progressive People's Alliance."
Later on Tuesday, in a speech, Modi asserted that political coalitions "built on negativity" were doomed to failure and cited the accomplishments of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which the BJP had founded in 1998.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the BJP convened an NDA conference in the capital on Tuesday. 38 parties attended, many of them minor organisations with narrow regional spheres of influence. Since Modi took office in 2014 and was re-elected in 2019, the NDA has lost influence as an alliance as a result of his leadership of the BJP to a decisive victory that weakened the influence of coalition partners. However, political observers in the local media claim that BJP is recreating NDA now because it does not want to leave anything to chance in order to win a third term.
"We unite the people of India, they divide the people of India, they underestimate the ordinary people of India," Modi told the NDA meeting, referring to opposition parties. "People are watching why they are coming together, what is the glue that is bringing them together," Modi said. "People have made up their minds to give the mandate to NDA a third time."
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