Bangalore: The second and final day of the opposition unity meeting is set to commence on Tuesday. A coalition of 26 like-minded parties has come together with a shared objective of challenging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, the BJP is scheduled to convene a meeting of 38 parties from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the national capital.
The NDA meeting will be presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking the completion of nine years of the central government under his leadership. The first day of the opposition party's gathering commenced with a dinner meeting hosted by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Expressing optimism, Congress leader BK Hariprasad stated that the meeting began on a positive note and predicted the downfall of the BJP in 2024. When asked about the NDA meeting in Delhi, he quipped, "That would be the National Disaster Alliance."
Earlier, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav expressed hope for a resounding defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The joint opposition meeting outlined a draft agenda, which includes the formation of a subcommittee responsible for drafting a common minimum program and communication strategy for the alliance in the upcoming general elections. They also intend to discuss seat sharing, alliance branding, as well as propose electoral reforms to the Election Commission.
Also, the opposition leaders set up a common secretariat for the proposed alliance and plan to form various committees to address pertinent issues. Their focus is not to frame the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as a "leader vs. Modi" battle but rather to emphasize issues and present it as a "Modi vs. people" contest. The chairperson of the alliance is expected to be decided based on a combined decision of the opposition parties, with the Congress party open to alternative options besides nominating someone from their own party.
Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who is attending the two-day opposition meeting, is considered a respected figure but not a contender for the position of Prime Minister. Some parties have proposed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the convenor of the coalition, and the Congress party is willing to go along with the consensus.
To facilitate coordination, there is a proposal to establish two to three subgroups or a coordination committee within the alliance. The opposition parties aim to work together, focusing on the issues at hand, to present a strong alternative to the current political landscape.