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Modi vs ‘INDIA’; Opposition announces the name of their new alliance

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After a four-hour long meeting, the 26 parties opposition announced the new name of their alliance – INDIA which stands for Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance, framing the 2024 general elections as a fight between BJP and the whole country. Sources said that the name was decided before the leaders came together for the meeting.

The Opposition leaders were coy about who had the idea first but reports claim that a small group of leaders met following the dinner hosted by the Congress. There were many names mentioned among this bunch. Rahul Gandhi, the former president of the Congress, had emphasized the widening gap between “two Indias” during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, and the Congress wanted the alliance’s name to reflect this. According to sources, the name resonated with the group as a whole, particularly as many believed it was past time for the Opposition to reclaim the “nationalism” platform, which the BJP has been monopolizing.

The main focus of the discussions was to choose a name that would effectively contradict the BJP’s “nationalism” narrative, leading to the name INDIA. Other names suggested were “Progressive People’s Alliance”, “People’s Alliance for India”, and “Indian People’s Front”. Right after the coining of the new alliance name, leaders of different parties started debating over who came up with the idea. After Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s opening remarks, Trinamool Congress president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke and a senior leader claimed that she had proposed the name INDIA which led Mr. Kharge to then clear that “everyone unanimously agreed to the name”.

There was discussion on the acronym’s meaning, namely whether “N” should stand for “new” or “national” and “D” should stand for “democratic” or “developmental”. Many claimed that the use of the word “democratic” would make it seem remarkably similar to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The others argued that the fight for 2024 should focus on exposing the BJP’s “ache din” narrative. They believed that “developmental” would succeed because they emphasized the widening gap between the wealthy and the poor.

On the other hand, hours after the Opposition came up with the name ‘INDIA’, PM Modi cited a new full form for his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) – New India, Developed Nation, Aspiration of People of India. PM Modi stressed that for the alliance, “nation first, security of the nation first, progress first, and people empowerment first” when speaking to the NDA leaders meeting in Delhi. He also paid tribute to past NDA leaders LK Advani, Balasaheb Thackeray, and Parkash Singh Badal.

During this meeting, PM Modi also took a jab at the opposition, “alliance formed for the compulsion of power, based on dynastic politics and keeping in mind casteism and regionalism is very harmful to the country.” He added, “When we were in opposition also, we did constructive politics and did not indulge in negative politics”.

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