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Can INDIA Alliance have a consensus PM candidate, anyones guess

By Priti Prakash | PUBLISHED: 20, Dec 2023, 16:15 pm IST | UPDATED: 22, Jan 2024, 19:31 pm IST

Can INDIA Alliance have a consensus PM candidate, anyones guess
New Delhi: INDIA Alliance had its 4th meeting in New Delhi on Dec 19, 2023. It was attended by 28 parties with all regional party leaders including Nitish Kumar, Stalin, Lalu Yadav, Mamta Baneerjee, Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah, Sitaram Yechury, Arvind Khejriwal, Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi. The meeting went on for around 2 hours.

On behalf of all parties Mallikarjun Khadge, President AICC said that the Alliance has decided to hold protests countrywide against the suspension of 151 MP’s from Parliament on the issue of creating ruckus for asking the Home Minister and Prime Minister to come to the House and give a statement on the security breach that happened on December 13 that saw certain people jump the benches from the visitors gallery and throw yellow gas in the House that created panic amoung members.

On seat sharing Kharge said that negotiations will also start very soon and wherever there are any differences or difficulties, these will be sorted out at the state level. At the same time, he added, if the differences will not be resolved at the state level, these will be discussed at the INDIA level by the senior leaders among themselves.

On a question regarding PM candidate Kharge emphasized that right now their goal was to win more seats and come with a bigger margin and that PM candidate is not the priority now.  

Be it PM candidate or building consensus, the differences in the congeniality were seen in the meeting when as reported, TR Ballu of DMK demanded hindi translation of JDU’s Nitish Kumar’s speech, was rebuffed by Kumar saying that Hindi is our national language and that all should know it. He however told Manoj Jha who was asked by Ballu to translate, not to do so.

The other major difference cropped up on the name of INDIA Alliance PM face for 2024. Mamta and Arvind Khejriwal proposed Congress President Kharge’s name for PM but Lalu & Nitish, as reported, walked out of the briefing as a mark of disagreement.  TMC and JDU workers had proposed Mamta Banerjee’s and Nitish Kumar’s name as the PM for the general elections in 2024 earlier.  

Apart from seat sharing, who will be the consensus candidate for the INDIA Block will be a major hurdle which the opposition will have to cross as the country nears national elections. For BJP, Modi will be the undisputed PM face with which they have won the major 3 state elections recently namely Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh. However BJP is riding high on Modi factor knowing very well the divided house scenario of the opposition. Mission 2024 will be watched.