The leaders of the opposition parties conducted a meeting, on the 13th of February, at the residence of Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President, in Delhi.
Six opposition party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, the President of the Indian National Congress (INC,) were present at Pawar’s residence. The other leaders at the meeting were Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) President and the Chief Minister (CM) of West Bengal, and Arvind Kejriwal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) President and the CM of Delhi.
N. Chandrababu Naidu, the CM of Andhra Pradesh and the President of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP,) and Farooq Abdullah, the President of the National Conference, were also a part of this meeting.
Ms. Banerjee confirmed the alliance and said, “We will have a pre-poll alliance to remove Modi. Pre poll alliance so there is no difficulty afterwards.” On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi contradicted her statement and said, “We will compete with each other as well.”
Banerjee further spoke about the main agendas of the alliance being ‘Sabko ek rakho, desh ko bachao’ and ‘Modi hatao, desh bachao.’ She also stated, Rahul Gandhi will share the draft for the next meeting and will discuss the next move.
Rahul Gandhi, a rival of the AAP and TMC leaders, kept aside the rivalry and joined hands with them to achieve the agenda of ‘Modi hatao, desh bachao.’ He said, “The principal target for all of us is to fight the assault on Indian institutions being carried out by Narendra Modi, by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.) We have all agreed that we are going to start a conversation about a Common Minimum Programme, we are going to start putting together the pieces and that discussion is now beginning. We have a commitment that we are all going to work together to defeat the BJP.”
The idea of the alliance is said to be N. Chandrababu Naidu’s initiative. The Parties will conduct meetings in every 15 days and will discuss the strategies ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. However, an official announcement regarding the alliance is yet to be made.
The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled between April and May 2019.
Stay tuned for further updates about the Lok Sabha elections.