New Delhi, Jan 14: INDIA bloc has approved Mallikarjun Kharge as the chairperson of opposition parties during a virtual meeting on Saturday.
However, INDIA bloc is yet to officially announce Kharge’s name.
Sources said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the contender for the post of convener of INDIA bloc. However, during the meeting, he said that someone from Congress should assume the charge.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, former president Rahul Gandhi, senior leader K.C. Venugopal; Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with Lalan Singh and Sanjay Jha; former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah; RJD President and Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav; NCP Chief Sharad Pawar; Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal; Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin besides other leaders participated in the virtual meeting.
“Appointing a chairperson is just a first step only. There are many challenges ahead for the INDIA bloc. Even several parties of India bloc itself believe that one of the major challenges is the sheet sharing,” political experts said.
They said that it might be tough for the alliance partners to negotiate the sheet sharing formula in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.
There have also been two meetings of the INDIA bloc to discuss the Delhi and Punjab seat sharing arrangement with both parties saying that the talks are going in the right direction.
However, sources said that there are some contentious issues between the two political parties. Congress wants four seats in Delhi and seven seats in Punjab, but AAP is not ready to comply. In both Delhi and Punjab, the ruling party wants the bigger share of seats. Besides, AAP also wants to contest in Goa, Haryana and Gujarat under the sheet sharing formula.
INDIA bloc is a group of opposition parties, including the Congress. The parties have come together to take on the NDA, which is led by the BJP, and to prevent it from winning a third straight term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.