INDIA bloc to meet in Delhi on June 1 to assess poll performance

Trinamool Congress to skip event due to final phase of election.

Updated - May 27, 2024 10:20 pm IST

Published - May 27, 2024 09:45 pm IST - New Delhi 

 Leaders from different Political parties during INDIA meet. File.

Leaders from different Political parties during INDIA meet. File. | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has called a meeting of the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in Delhi on June 1 to assess their performance in the ongoing elections and chalk out a strategy ahead of the results on June 4.

The Trinamool Congress has expressed its inability to attend the meeting due to the last phase of polling.

Also read | INDIA and the hurdle of convincing the voter

“It is an informal discussion. During the elections, we have not met. We have only been coordinating over the phone. And contrary to everyone’s initial expectations, the INDIA bloc has performed very well across the country. The meeting is to assess our electoral performance and to chart the way ahead,” a top Congress leader said.

There is no conversation yet on formulating a common minimum programme, though the INDIA bloc leaders appear optimistic about the poll outcome.  

The INDIA bloc was constituted in March 2023 in Patna and since then it has suffered multiple setbacks, including losing founding members such as the Janata Dal(U) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

The allies have also fought against each other in at least three States — the Congress against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab; the Congress against the Left parties in Kerala, and the Trinamool Congress against the Congress-Left combine in West Bengal.

The various committees and sub-committees constituted for campaigning and publicity also failed to function during the election. However, the allies believe that they have good coordination particularly in Uttar Pradesh that sends the highest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

The Trinamool Congress said it will not take part in the meeting as nine seats in West Bengal would be going to the polls on June 1. The party had won all nine seats in 2019.

“Nothing much should be read into our absence. We are defending nine seats that vote on June 1. It will be impossible for us to go. And in all INDIA bloc meetings only three of our top leaders have participated, so we can not really depute any junior member,” a Trinamool leader said. 

The two prominent allies have run a bitter campaign against each other in the election. However, after some strong statements against the Opposition bloc, the Trinamool has softened its stance and insists that while an electoral understanding could not be achieved, the party remains with the INDIA bloc at the national level.

Senior Congress leaders said initially they were planning to schedule the meeting on June 2 or 3, but could not do so because of the commitments of various leaders. 

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