Kharge’s name proposed as chairperson of INDIA bloc

The alliance leaders held a nearly two-hour virtual meeting, which was convened by Kharge, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

Kharge’s name proposed as chairperson of INDIA bloc

Photo: ANI

After days of tussle among alliance partners, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) on Saturday appointed Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge as the bloc’s chairperson.

The decision was taken during a virtual meeting of top alliance leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Nitish Kumar and MK Stalin.

The virtual meeting was held to review the seat-sharing arrangment, participation in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and other matters related to the alliance.


During the meeting, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was given the INDIA bloc convener’s job.

However, news agency ANI reported that he has rejected the convener’s post. He reportedly told the alliance partners that someone from the Congress should take the post.

An official announcement of the decision is likely to be made later today.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar attended the meeting of INDIA bloc leaders via video conferencing in Mumbai.

The meeting was also attended by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK leader MK Stalin and party leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi. They joined virtual meeting from Chennai.

However, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav skipped the meeting.

As many as 29 Opposition parties have stitched an alliance to take on the BJP-led ruling NDA in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The Opposition parties have resolved to fight the general elections together “as much as possible” to defeat the BJP.

Top leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) on Saturday proposed the name of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s as the chairperson of the Opposition bloc.

The alliance leaders held a nearly two-hour virtual meeting, which was convened by Kharge, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

Among the leaders who attended the meeting were Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M K Stalin and CPI general secretary D Raja.

However, no official announcement was made after the meeting.

During the meeting, the leaders also discussed seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections and holding joint programmes, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, which is scheduled to kick off from Manipur’s Imphal on Sunday.

The NCP chief later said it was suggested during the meeting by some of the leaders that the alliance should be headed by Mr Kharge and everyone agreed. “We had a discussion that we all will take a decision on seat-sharing as soon as possible,” Pawar said.

CPI general secretary Raja said, “It was a good meeting. The meeting discussed seat-sharing. It has been suggested to all the constituents of the INDIA alliance to conclude the seat-sharing negotiations as early as possible. There was a brief discussion on Rahul’s Nyaya Yatra.”

He further said, “ There was a discussion on the question of chairperson and convenor. The name of Mr Kharge was proposed as chairperson, it was agreed upon. But, a suggestion was made that it should be communicated to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) and should be announced after that. Then, it was suggested to Mr Kharge to inform them about the proposal and take their consent.’’

In response to a question on appointing Mr Nitish Kumar as convenor, Mr Raja said, “He (Kumar) just said that he was not an aspirant.”

Earlier in the day, JD (U) leader Sanjay Kumar Jha claimed that Mr Kumar wanted that convenor of the INDIA bloc should be from Congress only.

Meanwhile, Mr Kharge in a post on X wrote, “Leaders of INDIA coordination committee today met online and had a fruitful discussion on the alliance. Everyone is happy that the seat sharing talks are progressing in a positive way. We also discussed joint programmes in the coming days by INDIA Parties.”

The Congress chief added, “I, along with Rahul Gandhi, invited all INDIA parties to join ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ at their convenience and use the opportunity to raise the social, political and economic issues plaguing common people of this country.”

It may be mentioned that in the fourth meeting of the INDIA bloc last month, the leaders of the Opposition bloc discussed how to give a united fight to the BJP and its alliance in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections besides resolving issues related to seat sharing.

The leaders unanimously had decided that they will unitedly to fight the general elections and focus on winning the polls.

The INDIA is an umbrella of Opposition parties formed to take on the ruling BJP in the general polls.