Caste census main plank for I.N.D.I.A. bloc's first joint rally, in Bhopal

The Coordination Committee has decided to start the process for determining seat sharing too, said KC Venugopal

Respective allies of INDIA bloc (photo: IANS)
Respective allies of INDIA bloc (photo: IANS)

NH Political Bureau

Picking up the issue of a caste census, which they hope will act as an antidote to the politics of Hindutva in the forthcoming elections, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) announces its first joint meeting in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal.

Emerging from the first coordination meeting of the INDIA bloc, held at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, the Indian National Congress' (INC) general secretary KC Venugopal briefed media and said that the Alliance members agreed to initiate seat sharing at the earliest.

Emphasising that the INDIA bloc will hold joint rallies in all parts of the country, Venugopal added, “Issues of rising prices, unemployment and (the) corruption of (the) Bharatiya Janata Party government will be highlighted in the joint rallies.”

Venugopal said 12 parties participated in the discussion. All-India Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, who was called in by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning today, skipped the meeting.

After the meeting, CPI leader D Raja said, "The member parties will sort negotiation of seat sharing at the state level for the forthcoming elections." He, however, did not mention whether the parties would forge an alliance for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections or not.

Wednesday's, September 14, meeting was attended by Congress leader K.C. Venugopal, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, JD-U’s Sanjay Jha, in place of Lallan Singh, CPI’s D. Raja, DMK’s T.R. Baalu, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Sanjay Raut, Samajwadi Party’s Javed Ali, AAP’s Raghav Chadha, JMMs Hemant Soren and NC’s Omar Abdullah.

Indicating that the INDIA bloc would field one joint candidate against the BJP candidates in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections for each seat, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, “The seats that are already held by members of the INDIA bloc should not be open for discussion, we should be discussing the seats held by the BJP, NDA or parties that are not part of either of those alliances...”

Joint statement of the INDIA bloc after the first meeting of its coordination committee:

The first meeting of the coordination committee was held today at Sharad Pawar-ji’s residence and attended by 12 member parties.
Shri Abhishek Banerjee of All India Trinamool Congress could not attend the meeting due to summon by Enforcement Directorate, arising out of the vendetta politics of Bharatiya Janata Party and the prime minister.
The coordination committee decided to start the process for determining the seat sharing. It was decided that the member parties will hold the talks and decide at the earliest. The committee decided to hold joint public meetings in different parts of the country.
The first public meeting will be held at Bhopal in the first week of October on the issues of rising prices, unemployment and corruption of (the) BJP government. The parties present in the meeting agreed to take up the issue of caste census.

The coordination committee authorised the sub-group for media to decide upon the names of the anchors on whose shows none of the INDIA parties will send their representatives. These are the decisions; these are the outcomes of the meeting.

To a question on where the first public meeting would be held, Venugopal said it was to be in the first week of October, in Bhopal.

To another question about seat sharing, Venugopal said, "The coordination committee decided to start the process of determining seat sharing. It was decided that the member parties will hold the talks and decide at the earliest."

On another question about the Trinamool Congress' stand on the caste census, Venugopal said, "Those who are present here… decide these things. We are going to talk to them." 

With Inputs from IANS

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