A logo for the alliance, a coordination committee to facilitate a joint campaign and common messaging and a broad framework for state-wise seat-sharing discussions are among the items on the agenda of the opposition parties when they meet in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1 to take forward their discussions for a joint fight in the Lok Sabha elections.
If the parties finalised a name for the alliance at their meeting in Bengaluru last month, deciding to call the grouping Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, or INDIA, setting the tone for their discussions in Mumbai will be the unveiling of the logo of the bloc. The logo, aimed at establishing the idea of the parties being a united force for the Lok Sabha elections, will be unveiled on the evening of August 31 ahead of the dinner meeting of the opposition constituents.
“We are trying to reach out to 140 crore Indians. The logo will symbolise the country, its unity, and reflect the energy needed to keep the country together,” said Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut.
The opposition leaders will have a preliminary meeting over dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai on August 31. It will be followed by a formal meeting the next day at the same venue starting at 11 am. A joint briefing and a joint resolution will wrap up the proceedings on the afternoon of September 1. The meeting in Mumbai is being hosted by the constituents of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi — the Nationalist Congress Party, the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress.
Formation of a coordination committee which will draw members from the various constituents of the alliance and the setting up of smaller panels that will handle requirements such as logistics and communications are on the agenda of the two-day meeting.
The alliance is expected to grow in number at the Mumbai meeting, with more regional parties, including from the Northeast, joining it. A total of 26 parties had attended the meeting in Bengaluru. The first meeting of the opposition parties was held in Patna in June.
The choice of Mumbai as the venue for the meeting is significant since it is the first destination where the INDIA alliance is not in power. The opposition alliance though was in power in the state before the split in the Shiv Sena, with a large chunk of its legislators led by Eknath Shinde allying with the BJP. The meeting also comes close at the heels of the coming apart of the NCP and the continuing questions about where exactly NCP supremo Sharad Pawar stands with regard to the breaking away of a sizeable bloc of his party led by his nephew Ajit Pawar.