Lok Sabha polls: After Patna, Opposition parties to meet at Shimla from July 10-12

Shimla, June 24

After success of the Patna meet, Fifteen opposition parties of India are expected to attend a brainstorming session at Shimla from July 10 to 12, 2023, in a united effort to challenge the ruling BJP in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha election. The party office bearers of Congress, CPI(M), and AAM in the state have been alerted by the national unit for the upcoming meeting, which is likely to be held at Hotel Peterhoff in Shimla.

Chief Minister Sukvinder Singh Sukhu, Pratibha Singh, and Congress stalwart Kaul Singh Thakur have been at the AICC headquarters for the past three days to discuss cabinet expansion and review the party’s performance in Himachal Pradesh. It was after the AICC meeting that party leader Mallikarjun Kharge announced yesterday the convening of an opposition party meeting at Shimla from July 10 to 12. Mr. Sukhu, Ms. Singh, and AICC spokesman SP Khera are expected to provide details about the outcome of the AICC meeting and the confirmed venue for the opposition party meeting today.

CPI(M) state secretariat member Dr. Kuldeep Singh Tanwar stated that the first meeting of the opposition party held in Patna was attended by 13 parties, but later the two main opposition parties also expressed their solidarity with the opposition. He mentioned that all 15 non-BJP opposition parties, including CPI(M), are expected to attend the two-day conference. AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, as well as Punjab CM Bhagwat Mann, are expected to attend the brainstorming session on July 10.

AAP state leader J.D. Chauhan expressed dissatisfaction with the Congress party, stating that AAP seeks a clear assurance from them. Additionally, AAP, which holds governments in Punjab and Delhi, is likely to negotiate for a significant number of Lok Sabha seats in both states. However, he informed that according to a communique received from Delhi, AAP leaders, including the Delhi CM and Bhagwant Mann, may attend the all-party meeting on July 12 in Shimla. Local AAP units are expecting their leaders to participate in the meeting, regardless of their stance on opposition unity.

Congress, buoyed by recent victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, is striving to make a comeback after experiencing a drastic decline in many states, especially in North India and the Northeast. Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satyapal Malik referenced the VP Singh third front alliance against the Congress party in 1989, suggesting the emergence of a similar opposition joint unity against the ruling party. Kharge disclosed yesterday that opposition unity might take shape at the Shimla meeting and would be further solidified amidst the cool climate and scenic beauty of Shimla.

“We will meet in Shimla on July 12,” stated the AICC chief while acknowledging the success of the Patna meeting.



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