The opposition parties, which have joined hands to fight against the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, has revealed the name of their alliance as Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I-N-D-I-A).
This was the second meeting of the Opposition parties, which are trying to put up a strong front against the NDA. The alliance name was revealed yesterday.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: "So 2024 will be Team INDIAVsTeam NDA Chak De, INDIA!"
At the conclusion of the meeting, opposition leaders issued a joint statement, wherein they pledged to "present to the nation an alternative political, social and economic agenda".
"India’s 26 progressive parties express our steadfast resolve to safeguard the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution," said the joint statement, as quoted by India Today.
Congress supremo Mallikarjun Kharge posted: "We have come together to save Democracy and the Constitution. With one voice, we have agreed to have a name for the alliance."
Stating that the alliance would stand together, Kharge said, "The BJP [government] wants to destroy Democracy in this country. They want to bulldoze the Constitution."
"We will fight this unitedly, and we shall be successful. 𝐈𝐍𝐃𝐈𝐀 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐰𝐢𝐧!" he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the tone for the upcoming general elections during the NDA meeting in Delhi and said there has been a long tradition of political alliances in the country, but any alliance formed with negativity could never be successful.
Slamming the Congress party for using the alliance for toppling the previous governments, PM Modi said: "The Congress used alliances to destabilise the country in the Nineties. Congress formed governments and toppled them." The Prime Minister's remarks come shortly after the opposition parties met in Bengaluru.
Leaders from 38 parties, including Ekanth Shinde, K Palaniswami, Ramdas Athavale, and Chirag Paswan, reached Delhi to attend the NDA meeting.
"NDA was not formed in opposition to any party, but it was formed to bring stability to the country," said Modi, while addressing the 38 alliance partners.
"When the alliance is out of compulsion of power, when the alliance is with the intention of corruption, when the alliance is based on the policy of nepotism, when the alliance is done keeping casteism and regionalism in mind, then that alliance proves harmful for the country," said the prime minister.
Modi also coined a new full form of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA): New India, Developed Nation, Aspiration of People of India.
Hailing the BJP-led NDA alliance, Modi said, "For us, the alliance is not for compulsion but for contribution and today the youth, women, middle class, Dalits and deprived trust the NDA."
The NDA, he said, was formed in 1998, but only forming governments and gaining power was not its goal. It was not formed in opposition to anyone, not formed to remove anyone from power but to bring stability in the country, he added.
"When a country has a stable government, the country makes a bold decision, and that changes the course of the country," said the prime minister. He termed the UPA reign an era of "mistrust and policy paralysis" and said, "The example of the coalition government before 2014 is in front of us. A high command over the Prime Minister."
"Policy paralysis, inability to take decisions, chaos and mistrust, tussle and corruption, scams worth lakhs and crores was the reality of the then government," he added. When his party was in the opposition, "we brought out scams of the then governments but never insulted the mandate of the people".
"We never took the help of foreign powers against the ruling governments. We never created hurdles in development schemes meant for the country," he said.
Talking about the importance of alliance for the election, PM Modi said, "NDA's vote share was 38 percent in 2014 and 45 percent in 2019. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, NDA's vote share will be above 50 percent because of its allies who are working hard."
"People have made up their mind to give the mandate to the NDA for a third consecutive term," he said.
Speaking about poverty in the country, the PM said that "no stone was left unturned to empower the people". As a result, "around 13.5 crore people were lifted out of poverty after 2015-16 as per the Niti Aayog report," he said.