NEW DELHI: A crucial meeting was convened on June 23 in Patna, Bihar, by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, aiming to bring together opposition parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The meeting saw the presence of prominent leaders, including Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, former President Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
However, amidst the discussions, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made an announcement on Wednesday (June 28) that it would contest all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi independently. Sandeep Pathak, AAP’s General Secretary, stated that during the election campaign, they would emphatically convey to the people that the ordinances issued by the central government are against their interests.
According to news agency PTI, Sandeep Pathak, after meetings with leaders from Delhi and Haryana, stressed the necessity of opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but he also acknowledged that it would largely depend on the Congress’ attitude.
AAP will contest all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in 2024 general elections, says party leader Sandeep Pathak— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 28, 2023
Following the opposition parties’ meeting in Patna, AAP issued a statement, warning that unless the Congress clarifies its stance on the Delhi ordinances, AAP would refrain from participating in any gathering where the Congress is involved.
Sandeep Pathak, an AAP leader, alleged that the BJP is determined to dismantle opposition parties, claiming that the Modi government at the center has consistently pursued this objective. He further accused the central government of misusing investigative agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
When questioned about attending the upcoming meeting of opposition parties, Pathak responded that AAP’s convenor Arvind Kejriwal would make the final decision on whether to participate.
During the joint press conference following the meeting convened by CM Nitish Kumar, Mallikarjun Kharge stated that the opposition parties would organize a one-day meeting between July 10 and 12 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, to strategize for the upcoming elections. In response, AAP leader Sandeep Pathak emphasized that it would be Arvind Kejriwal, the convenor of AAP, who would determine AAP’s involvement in the meeting.
As the political landscape continues to evolve in anticipation of the Lok Sabha Election 2024, the unity and collaboration among opposition parties will play a crucial role in shaping the electoral landscape and offering alternative voices to the ruling government.