Opposition parties’ Patna meeting sets stage for 2024

Next meeting of the opposition parties will be held in Shimla and will be headed by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge

| Updated: 23 June, 2023 8:46 pm IST
Leaders from 15 opposition political parties attended the meeting in Patna on Friday  

KOLKATA: The grand ensemble of the opposition parties in Bihar’s Patna appears to have set the tone for the 2024 general election as they agree to present a united front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The maiden meeting of 15 opposition parties, which lasted for more than three hours, decided on another meeting in July – at the cool Himalayan climes of Shimla – and will be headed by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Giving a ray of hope for the fractured opposition, the host and Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar said, “The consensus was made to fight the 2024 election together.”

“The next meeting will be headed by Mallikarjun Kharge. The strategies of who will contest from where will be discussed and chalked out there,” the Janata Dal (United) leader said.

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who has been working tirelessly to bring the opposition together, said, “This 17-party meeting, attended by CMs and former CMs, has been a good meeting. We are finally meeting Laluji (RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav) in the political sphere after too long. Senior leaders Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, and others are here. Whatever started in Patna today will turn into a Jana Andolan.”

“Three things have been resolved. We are united, we will fight unitedly and our fight shouldn’t be branded as the Opposition’s fight but rather a fight against the BJP’s dictatorship and their black laws and fight their political vendetta,” said the Trinamool Congress chief. “BJP wants history to be changed, but history will be saved from Bihar,” she added.

National Conference chief Omar Abdullah said the opposition parties from Kashmir to Kanyakumari are present here in today’s meeting.

“The aim is not to ‘grab the power’ but it is the battle of ideologies, of democracy, of safeguarding the interests and identity of India. We have come together to save the country,” the former J&K CM said.

“Among the various topics, the leaders from the opposition parties also discussed the situation in violence-hit Manipur,” National Congress Party chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar said.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also raised the issue of the ordinance and sought the support of the opposition parties.

Congress leaders Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal, NCP chief Pawar, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party leader and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal Banerjee along with the party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chaddha, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand CM and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren, CPI general secretary D Raja and CPI(ML) Dipankar attended the meeting.

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