ANI Photo | “Proposed Kharge’s name as PM candidate” says Mamata Banerjee as INDIA alliance backs Congress President for top job

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s name was proposed as the prime ministerial candidate for the INDIA bloc by Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal in the just-held meeting in the national, where all 28 partners have converged to chalk plans for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first to propose the name of the Congress President as the prospective PM face of the INDIA alliance.
” Everyone was asking us who is the face of the alliance. I proposed Kharge’s name and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also backed my proposal. We have no objection to this and we are happy that Kharge will be the face of the alliance, I have no such news of anyone being unhappy with this decision” said Mamata Banerjee while speaking to reporters.
“After dialogue and discussions, further decisions would be taken. Mallikarjun Kharge sahab is a tall leader of our country and I got the opportunity to work alongside him in Rajya Sabha,” said Rajya Sabha member from AAP, Raghav Chadha.
“He has had a wonderful career over five decades-long political career. Besides being a political luminary, he is also a social reformer,” the AAP parliamentarian told reporters.
CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP, Bikash Ranjan said, “It should have happened. Congress is a pan-India party. Congress & CPI(M) has its existence in every corner of the country…There is acceptance for Mallilkarjun Kharge as well…”
Kharge has over 50 years of political experience under his belt. Kharge rose from the ranks of a grassroot worker to become the chief of that party and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
Anil Desai, Rajya Sabha member from Shiv Sena (Uddhav faction), also said Kharge’s name was proposed in Tuesday’s meeting.
“It was a cordial meeting in Delhi. All INDIA bloc partners will bring a change in the country (in 2024). West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have proposed that Mallikarjun Kharge be made the prime ministerial face of the Opposition alliance,” Desai said.
“Kharge ji, on his part, though contended that it was important to win elections collectively, and then can come the discussion about the candidate.”
On seat sharing among INDIA partners, Desai said it will happen smoothly.
Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has played down suggestions about being the prime ministerial candidate of the INDIA bloc for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and said the matter will be decided later and their priority is to try and get a majority.
“First, all of us have to win, we should think about what needs to be done for victory. Who will be PM, this will be decided later. If there are fewer MPs, what is the point of talking about the PM? First, to increase our numbers, (by) coming together, we will try to bring the majority. First, we will have to win,” Kharge told reporters after the INDIA meeting on Tuesday.
Kharge, a former union minister, belongs to the Dalit community.
The fourth meeting of the ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc took place in the national capital Tuesday and was attended by leaders from 28 alliance partners.
Congress leader KC Venugopal told reporters after the meeting yesterday that the seat-sharing talks would start without delay and there was a proposal for “joint rallies” also.
Earlier this week, Mamata Banerjee also said she was ready for joint campaigning and she was willing to rally for any India bloc parties.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of escalating tensions between the government and the opposition over the suspension of Parliamentarians during the winter session of Parliament.
INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) parties are seeking to put up a united challenge against the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The parties have come together to take on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is led by PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and prevent it from winning a third straight term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The first meeting of the joint opposition convened in Patna on June 23 and the second meeting was held in Bengaluru on July 17-18. The third meeting happened in Mumbai on August 31-September 1.
In the Mumbai meeting, the opposition parties adopted resolutions to collectively contest the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections while announcing that seat-sharing arrangements would be finalized as soon as possible in a spirit of give-and-take.
The theme chosen by the INDIA bloc for the elections is “Judega Bharat, Jeetega India” (India will unite, India will win) to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government

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