Alliances built on negativity have never won in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, hours after 26 Opposition parties announced that they would jointly contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The Opposition parties on Tuesday decided to name their alliance as Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, or INDIA. The Opposition’s announcement came hours before the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance meeting in Delhi. The meeting was attended by leaders of 38 parties.
Modi said on Tuesday that the BJP and its allies have joined hands to create a new India, adding that NDA stands for New India, Development, and Aspirations of the people.
“NDA is a coalition of contributions and strength, and Opposition’s coalition is an alliance of compulsions, where the glue that binds them together is that of compromises with principles and values,” Modi said while addressing the meeting. “When an alliance is formed due to compulsion of power, with the intention of corruption, based on dynastic politics, keeping in mind casteism and regionalism, then that alliance is very harmful to the country.”
He also accused the Congress of forming alliances in the 1990s to bring instability and pull down governments. He said that on the contrary, the National Democratic Alliance was not formed against anybody or to remove anyone from power, but to bring stability to the country.
He said his government had risen above party differences to award the Bharat Ratna to former President and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee, and honoured leaders of Opposition parties – Mulayam Singh, Tarun Gogoi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Muzaffar Baig – and others with Padma awards.
Mayawati rebukes NDA, INDIA alliance
But Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said that neither the Congress nor the Bharatiya Janata Party have fulfilled their promises to citizens once elected to power, ANI reported.
“These parties don’t work for the welfare of the people,” Mayawati said when asked why she did not join the Opposition alliance. “They have not done anything for Dalits, Muslims and minorities. All are the same. When they come to power, they forget their promises.”
She alleged that the Congress was dreaming of coming to power again at the Centre by joining hands with “like-minded casteist and capitalist parties”.
Mayawati said that neither of the two alliances can form a “strong” government at the Centre so a “majboor” or a weak government will be formed in its place, reported The Indian Express.
Mayawati announced that her party will contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as well as the Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana alone. She, however, said the Bahujan Samaj Party was open to alliances in Punjab and Haryana if the regional parties do not associate either with the NDA or the INDIA alliance.
‘Jeetega Bharat’ tagline for INDIA alliance
A day after they named their alliance INDIA, the Opposition on Wednesday decided on “Jeetega Bharat”, which translates to India will win, as the tagline for their 2024 Lok Sabha campaign, reported PTI.
Unidentified sources told the news agency that the tagline is likely to be replicated in several regional languages.
After the Opposition parties announced the name of their alliance, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the country’s “civilisational conflict” is pivoted around India and Bharat. “The British named our country as India,” he said. “We must strive to free ourselves from colonial legacies. Our forefathers fought for Bharat, and we will continue to work for Bharat . BJP for BHARAT.”
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, however, pointed to Article 1 of the Constitution, and said it defines the spirit of the Opposition alliance.
“India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States,” he tweeted. “This is the spirit behind the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance announced by 26 political parties in Bengaluru today.”