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INDIA bloc meet: Pitting strong candidate against PM Modi in 2024 elections discussed, say sources

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INDIA bloc meet: Pitting strong candidate against PM Modi in 2024 elections discussed, say sources

In the 2014 parliamentary polls, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal had fought against Modi from Varanasi, and lost by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes.

FP Staff December 21, 2023 00:12:18 IST INDIA bloc meet: Pitting strong candidate against PM Modi in 2024 elections discussed, say sources

Top leaders of the INDIA bloc at a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday | PTI

During the fourth meeting of the INDIA bloc held on Tuesday, deliberations revolved around countering the BJP in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections, sources told PTI, adding that pitting a strong joint opposition candidate from Varanasi was also discussed.

Recognising the need for innovative strategies, the opposition parties explored unconventional ideas to challenge the ruling party in the polls.

In the 2014 parliamentary polls, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal had fought against Modi from Varanasi, and lost by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes. In 2019, there was a buzz that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might fight from Varanasi. However, the Congress fielded Ajay Rai while the Samajwadi Party fielded Shalini Yadav. Modi won the elections bagging over 60 per cent of the votes.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier this month announced that he would hold a rally in Varanasi. However, the rally was cancelled as they could not get permission.

At the INDIA bloc meeting, while seat sharing remained in focus, the leaders also discussed holding joint rallies and public meetings. Meanwhile, amid murmurs about the Bihar CM being upset about Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to make Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge the prime ministerial face of the opposition alliance, the West Bengal CM said on Wednesday she made the proposal as the question of who would be the face of the alliance had been raised repeatedly.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, Banerjee said, “We proposed Kharge ji’s name because everyone asks for a face, so I made a proposal that if Kharge ji is the face I have no problem, and it was supported by Arvind ji.”Asked if Nitish Kumar was upset over her proposal, she said, “I have no such information”.

Asked about the proposal, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha said the proposal was shot down by the Congress chief himself, so there is no point in discussing it.

With inputs from PTI.

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