The I.N.D.I.A. alliance parties on Friday passed a resolution in its Mumbai meeting, resolving to fight the upcoming general elections slated for May 2024 ‘together’ but with a loaded caveat: ‘as far as possible’.
“We, the INDIA parties, hereby resolve to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections together as far as possible,” the resolution passed by a motley collection of opposition parties, united not by ideological convergence but by political compulsions, and which identified itself as I.N.D.I.A., an acronym selected to possibly deflect people’s attention from their internal disagreement and dubious antecedents said.
“Seat-sharing arrangements in different states will be initiated immediately and concluded at the earliest in a collaborative spirit of give-and-take,” the resolution further read, even though it did not offer a resolution for the internecine conflicts and clashes that routinely flare up between regional units of the member parties.
The bloc also vowed to organise public rallies in different parts of the countries on issues of public rallies in different parts of the country on issues of public concern and importance.
“We, the INDIA parties, hereby resolve to coordinate our respective communications and media strategies and campaigns with the theme Judega Bharat, Jiteega India in different languages,” the resolution concluded.
Fissures and internal dissensions define the loosely formed I.N.D.I.A. alliance
Even as existing fissures continue to cast a pal over the opposition’s I.N.D.I.A. alliance, the coalition members aren’t shying away from expressing their ambitions that run counter to existing partners. While they remain mealy-mouthed about the PM candidate for their alliance, for fear of provoking other coalition partners, every political party in the bloc seems to harbour the ambition of installing their head in the office of Prime Minister.
Recently, Shiv Sena UBT’s Priyanka Chaturvedi batted for the candidature of party head Uddhav Thackeray for the post of PM candidate for the I.N.D.I.A. alliance. When asked who according to her would be the Prime Ministerial candidate for the general elections that are slated to take place in May 2024, Chaturvedi responded by saying she would want to see Uddhav Thackeray as the PM candidate of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance.
Ms Chaturvedi’s utterances underscored the widening differences between the expectations and aspirations of member parties, where every party head is harbouring the dream of being the leader of the opposition alliance and using its attendant heft to catapult themselves on the national stage.
Nevertheless, the opposition parties have tried to mask or at least pretend to hide their fundamental differences, personal aspirations, and alliance expectations in an attempt to project unity. However, political analysts believe that the alliance may soon unravel as the expectations clash and elections approach, forcing regional parties to reconsider their commitment to the broader coalition which has so far failed to highlight how it plans to address internal differences.
Recently, Arvind Kejriwal’s face was missing from the new I.N.D.I.A. poster launched by the alliance, fuelling suspicions that the AAP’s exit from the coalition may be imminent. Even within the Congress party, clamour for snapping ties with the AAP has been on the rise. Punjab Congress leader Pratap Singh Bajwa recently expressed his disapproval over the party allying with its rival AAP in the I.N.D.I.A. alliance.