West Bengal chief minister proposes Congress president as INDIA bloc’s PM face

According to reports, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge disposed of the idea and no final decision could be taken on this.


File photo of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge. PHOTO: ANI/ THE STATESMAN

December 20, 2023

NEW DELHI – West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reportedly suggested Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s name as the prime ministerial face of opposition’s INDIA alliance.

The suggestion was made during the fourth meeting of the INDIA bloc leaders here on Tuesday.

At the meeting, opposition leaders discussed seat sharing arrangement and joint rallies. During this, the issue of PM face also came up and the TMC supremo suggested that Kharge, a Dalit, should be made the PM face.

However, according to reports, Kharge disposed of the idea and no final decision could be taken on this.

“There was no opposition to that suggestion – Mallikarjun Kharge for PM face,” MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) M P Vaiko said after the meeting.

JMM MP Mahua Maji, who was also part of the meeting, said discussions on the PM face did take place, but a final decision will be taken after the elections.

“…Discussions regarding the face of the Prime Minister were also done. No final decision was taken…Everyone said that PM’s face will be decided after winning the elections…,” she was quoted as saying by ANI.

At least 28 Opposition parties have stitched an alliance — Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) — to take on the mighty BJP-led NDA in the next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

During today’s meeting, discussions on seat sharing were held and all the leaders agreed to reach an agreement in the next 20 days.

Joint campaigning will also start soon after the distribution of tickets is completed.

“Discussions were held clearly. Seat-sharing, mass contact program – all of these will begin within 20 days…All decisions will be taken within three weeks,” RJD MP Manoj Jha said after the meeting.

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