Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the Opposition parties will have a pre-poll alliance and will work together at the national level in order to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections this summer, PTI reported.

Her statement came soon after Opposition leaders including Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Farooq Abdullah, N Chandrababu Naidu and Sharad Pawar had met at the Nationalist Congress Party president’s house in Delhi following an Opposition rally organised by the Aam Aadmi Party in the national Capital.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi said Opposition leaders have agreed to begin discussing a common minimum programme. He said the Opposition parties had a “constructive meeting” earlier on Wednesday.

“We agreed that principal target for all of us is to wipe assault on Indian institutions being carried out by Narendra Modi, BJP [and] RSS,” ANI quoted him as saying. “We agreed to start a conversation about a common minimum programme [and] we have a commitment that we’re all going to work together to defeat BJP.”

Opposition leaders had gathered in Delhi to attend the “Remove Dictatorship, Save Democracy” rally led by Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Rahul Gandhi did not not take part in the rally, but Congress leader Anand Sharma was present at the venue of the event.

‘Bluff and intimidation’ are government’s philosophy: Sonia Gandhi

United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday criticised the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that “bluff, bluster and intimidation” have been the government’s philosophy, PTI reported.

Gandhi, who was speaking at Congress Parliamentary Party’s general body meeting, alleged there was an “all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and strife” across the country. “We go to the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with renewed confidence and resolve,” she said, adding that the victories in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have given the party new hope.

She said the foundations of “our democratic and secular republic” have come under “systematic assault” by the government. “Institutions have been subverted,” she said. “Political opponents have been hounded. Dissent has been suppressed. Freedom of speech – the most basic of all freedoms – has been sought to be curtailed and silenced.”

“Bluff, bluster and intimidation have been the governance philosophy of the Modi government,” she said. “Truth and transparency have been brazenly tossed aside.”