UPA Vs NDA meet today
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UPA Vs NDA meet today

July 18, 2023
  • UPA to be renamed with ‘India’ in it; Top role likely for Sonia Gandhi in UPA against BJP
  • PM Modi calls Opposition alliance as ‘meeting of the hardcore corrupt to save themselves’

New Delhi/Bengaluru: The race is heating up as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced the confirmation of 38 National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners for a meeting in New Delhi today. This meeting coincides with a gathering of 26 like-minded Opposition parties in Bengaluru, who are strategising for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

The Opposition parties’ second-day meeting at Taj West End Hotel in Bengaluru today will primarily focus on discussions regarding EVM machines, future coordinated agitations, Lok Sabha seat sharing, the formulation of a common minimum programme and the selection of a united front name.

Meanwhile, the BJP aims to retain its existing allies and establish new alliances.

The NDA meeting in New Delhi at 4 pm today will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting is being organised to mark the completion of 9 years of the Central Government under PM Modi.

The first day of the Opposition party’s meeting started with the dinner meeting yesterday hosted by Chief Minister Siddharamaiah. The name of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by the Indian National Congress, is likely to be renamed.

Four new names for UPA have been sent to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and there is a possibility that the final name will be announced today.

Sources said all parties have been asked to suggest the name of the front, which should have the word ‘India’ in it. The tag line will be “United we stand”.

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The UPA was formed in 2004 and is the coalition of Centre-Left political parties in India. It was formed with a coalition of around 10 political parties with Sonia Gandhi as its Chairperson. There is a chance that Sonia Gandhi will be named the President of the new Front and Nitish Kumar the Convenor, sources said.

Besides Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Chief Ministers M.K. Stalin, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal, Hemant Soren, Mamata Banerjee and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad are among those taking part in the two-day meet. Sharad Pawar, whose party underwent a split earlier this month with the rebellion of nephew Ajit Pawar, has also joined the meeting today.

Among others at the meeting hosted by Siddharamaiah were Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Akhilesh Yadav (SP), Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena-UBT), Farooq Abdullah (NC) and Mehbooba Mufti (PDP), besides Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), D. Raja (CPI), Jayant Chaudhary (RLD), MDMK MP Vaiko and AAP MP Raghav Chadha.

The dinner meeting saw West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi seated next to each other. They had a one-on-one conversation earlier that lasted almost 20 minutes, delaying the beginning of the meet, sources said.

While the two leaders are known to share a good rapport, relations between the Congress and Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had soured lately. But both parties have moved past that, agreeing that defeating the BJP next year is priority to save democracy and federalism.

‘Kattar Bhrashtachari Sammelan’: PM

Ahead of the NDA meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition meeting calling the Opposition parties meet as an alliance of ‘corruption and dynasty politics.’ Modi said people see it as a gathering of the ‘corrupt’ and alleged that these parties provide cover to each other when their corruption is exposed.

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He took a jibe at the Opposition parties, using words like ‘jamat’ and ‘kunba’ and urged people to stay alert. “People of the country say that this is a ‘Kattar bhrashtachar sammelan’…(meeting of the hardcore corrupt). Another speciality of this meeting is that if someone is out on bail in a corruption of crores of rupees, they are seen with great respect. If the entire family is out on bail, they are more honoured…If someone insults a community and is punished by the court, he is honoured,” he said.

The motto of these parties is “Of the family, for the family”. In democracy, it is of the people, by the people and for the people. But for the dynastic political parties, it is of the family, by the family and for the family. Family first, nation nothing. This is their motto,” the PM said.

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