Karnataka State Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Pawan Khera attend a news conference in Bangalore, India, 17 July 2023. EFE/EPA/JAGADEESH NV

India’s opposition parties close ranks against Modi’s BJP for next general elections

New Delhi, Jul 17 (EFE).- More than 20 major opposition parties in India geared up Monday to formulate a strategy for next year’s general election, where they are expected to jointly pose a challenge to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in power since 2014.

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Pawan Khera attend a news conference in Bangalore, India, 17 July 2023. EFE/EPA/JAGADEESH NV

Opposition parties will meet in the southern city of Bangalore to “continue our discussions to jointly take on the BJP Government on a nationwide scale,” tweeted General Secretary of the Indian National Congress (INC) KC Venugopal.

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal (L) speaks next to Congress senior leader Jairam Ramesh (R) during a news conference in Bangalore, India, 17 July 2023. EFE/EPA/JAGADEESH NV

The two-day meeting will bring together leaders from 24 parties, including Nehru-Gandhi scion and INC leader Rahul Gandhi, who currently remains disqualified from the parliament found guilty in a defamation case.

“Our common goal is to protect democracy and address the most pressing issues faced by the common people, of crippling inflation and rampant unemployment,” added Venugopal.

The meeting, however, was not without problems, after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that is in power in Delhi put its attendance on hold until the last day.

The AAP demanded that the INC support a campaign against an ordinance by the BJP-led central government that wrested control of the capital’s bureaucracy from the state government.

The opposition parties seek to agree on a roadmap to create a common front ahead of the general elections next year against Modi’s BJP, which has been voted to power in 2014 and 2019.

The Hindu nationalist BJP and its allies are currently in power in 15 of India’s 30 states, even though it lost the elections in the southern state of Karnataka to the INC in May.

The opposition now hopes to stop the BJP from winning a third term in the general elections as the incumbent party banks on Modi’s popularity and economic growth. EFE

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