Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped scorn on the new Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) moniker for the 26-party opposition alliance, stating that people could not be misled merely by the addition of the country’s name.
Speaking to BJP MPs at a meeting of the parliamentary party, Mr. Modi said that the current opposition was the most “directionless” the country had ever seen, and that even reviled organisations such as the East India Company and the Indian Mujahideen had the word “India” in their names, but that hadn’t deceived anyone as to their real purpose.
As many as 26 Opposition parties have launched the ‘Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance’ (INDIA) to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha elections due in 2024. Significantly, while Parliament remains stuck in a log jam over the demand by opposition that the Prime Minister respond to a discussion on Manipur, and with the government’s refusal to do so, no mention of Manipur or the situation there was made by Mr. Modi in his address to the BJP MPs.
At the outset of the monsoon session of Parliament, Mr. Modi had made a statement, expressing anger and anguish over the video of two Manipuri women in Thoubal district being stripped and paraded, with one of them gang-raped, and two men murdered in the incident, which video went viral on social media, but has not referred to the breakdown of law and order in the State since early May.
Sources also said Mr. Modi had expressed confidence that the BJP would return to power after the 2024 General Elections with the “support of the people” and what is being seen now is the “hour before that dawn”.
He added, sources said, that the opposition “was frustrated and disappointed”, and that its conduct showed that it had “made up its mind to remain in the opposition”.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi briefed the media after the closed door meeting of the BJP parliamentary party. “The opposition’s conduct suggests that it has decided to permanently remain in the opposition for long,” Mr. Joshi said, paraphrasing Mr. Modi.
Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Mr. Modi told BJP leaders that the Indian National Congress and East India Company had been founded by foreign nationals. He said people were also using “names such as the Indian Mujahideen and Popular Front of India, and their realities were quite different from what they tried to project”.