For Mumbai meet, panels, social media plan on INDIA agenda
The INDIA alliance held its first meeting in Patna on June 23, and second meeting in Bengaluru on July 17 and 18.
New Delhi The Mumbai meeting of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will set up the grouping’s 11-member coordination committee, and is likely to discuss the broader approach for state-specific seat-sharing arrangements, which will eventually be handled at the state level, two leaders involved in the preparatory consultations said on Saturday.
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The meeting to be held on August 31 and September 1 may also decide on a formula to create at least five other panels to handle specific tasks of the alliance in the run-up to the 2024 general elections, a third Opposition leader aware of the matter said.
A draft joint statement, to be issued after the Mumbai meeting, is under preparation, the leaders indicated.
They said that talks have also started on how the various parties in the INDIA alliance can share each other’s social media content for greater impact in the digital space.
The INDIA alliance held its first meeting in Patna on June 23, and second meeting in Bengaluru on July 17 and 18. After the Mumbai meeting,anOpposition leader said that at least two more meetings, possibly in Kolkata and Chennai, will be held in the coming weeks.
According to the plans so far, on August 31, the alliance leaders will meet informally over dinner at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai. The formal meeting, which will last at least 4 hours, is scheduled from 11am on September 1 at the same venue.
“From Patna, we have taken a step forward in Bengaluru,” said one of the two leaders cited in the first instance. “In the second meeting, we named our alliance INDIA and identified specific issues. The Mumbai meeting can address specific issues, especially on mutual accommodation as strategy of seat sharing would depend on mutual trust and accommodation. The specifics, however, will be worked out only at the state level,” this leader said.
“The Mumbai meeting will set the structure of how the alliance will work on specific issues. The 11-member coordination committee will be formed at the Mumbai meeting. It will serve as the backbone of the alliance. In Mumbai, we will also finalize the formula to create at least 5 other committees to look at other issues such as campaign, publicity, logistics, etc. These committees too, will have members of the constituent parties,” said the second leader.
He added that the INDIA alliance partners will also set up a mechanism to share the social media space — either “by creating joint content or simply tagging each other or sharing posts”.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Congress leader Ashok Chavan said a common logo for the Opposition bloc might be released at the upcoming meeting. “We are deciding to make a common logo and it may get unveiled on August 31,” he said.
The parties may also come out with a policy statement on EVMs in a fresh push for paper ballots, the leaders quoted earlier suggested. To be sure, the Election Commission has steadfastly refused all allegations of any malpractice or problems in EVMs, and even organized an event in 2017 challenging political parties to hack the voting machines.
The first meeting of the INDIA alliance was attended by 15 parties. The second meeting saw the number of constituents rise to 26 parties. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, a key member of the alliance, has said that the alliance will grow further as 2024 elections draw closer.
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