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Opposition Ahead Of Mega Meet



A Common Minimum Programme and a dialogue about seat sharing may figure in the agenda of the third meeting of the united Opposition bloc INDIA, its leaders have indicated ahead of the two-day meet that begins in Mumbai tomorrow. 28 parties will take part in the meet — two more than the last one in Bengaluru — along with six Chief Ministers of Opposition-ruled states.

“We will be sitting and discussing a Common Minimum Programme,” veteran leader Sharad Pawar told reporters this evening.
“We have yet to start the dialogue for seat sharing. There is a chance that we might discuss this issue in this meeting and then give responsibility to leaders speak with state leaders about seat sharing,” he added.

Uddhav Thackeray, whose party Shiv Sena UBT is hosting the meet, started his media address with a jab at the BJP.

“Today is Raksha Bandhan… The BJP should tie rakhi to Bilkis Bano, women of Manipur, women wrestlers… They should feel safe in the country and that’s why we have come together,” he said.

The Opposition has claimed credit for the Rs 200 subsidy for cooking gas announced by the Centre earlier this week. “The price of the gas cylinder has been reduced by 200 rupees. That’s because of INDIA meet,” said Sanjay Raut, senior leader of Mr Thackeray’s party.

There is expectation that an 11-member coordination committee will also be named, ” At that meeting in Mumbai, we will decide on who the 11 will be, who the Convenor will be, etc. These are small things,” Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge had said after the meet in Bengaluru, where leaders had come up with the name of the Front – Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance – with the acronym INDIA.

Announcing the new name, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi had said: “The fight is between NDA and INDIA, Narendra Modi and India, his ideology and India… The fight is about two different ideas of India… The fight is for the voice of the country.”

The BJP had called the name pretentious and pitched the concept of “Bharat” against India.

“Today people are seeing who all are a part of NDA. They work for the shoshit and vanchit, adivasis and peechhdas (exploited and deprived, tribals and backward communities)… It is dedicated to the people of the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said.

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