As pro-govt quarters float theories for special parliamentary session, I.N.D.I.A sources tell mid-day that a powerful chief minister from the east is convinced that elections will be called in December simultaneously with some state polls, and that the alliance needs to plan for any eventuality
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and party President Mallikarjun Kharge at the Grand Hyatt at Santacruz. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
- Attention shifted from Adani issue, many other things on anvil to one nation one election
- Sources said a bill on `one nation, one election` could be passed in the special session
- The most talked about issue was whether to have a convenor or a panel of 10 or 11 members
Amid speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to implement the ‘one nation, one election’ policy, or at least hold the Lok Sabha elections with the forthcoming Assembly elections in the five states later this year, the Opposition bloc, I.N.D.I.A., is learnt to have gone into a huddle to find a new approach, as they have been trying to expand the unity and put a holding panel or a convenor in place, at its third conclave in the city.
The attention suddenly shifted from the Adani issue and many other things on the anvil to ‘one nation one election’ later on Thursday in the conclave. The union government’s announcement that a special session would be held later this month to discuss the Amrit Kaal changed the track of the discussion among the top leaders of 28 parties, who were hosted for a dinner by Uddhav Thackeray.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee welcomed to the city by Aaditya Thackeray
Sources said a bill on `one nation, one election` could be passed in the special session, but there was a difference of opinion among the leaders mid-day talked to. They cited several technical and operational difficulties to hold such a massive programme at a short notice. Some leaders saw this a ploy to confuse the Opposition and an indicator of the I.N.D.I.A-induced anxiety in the BJP camp.
One of the CMs from the eastern part of the country was confident that the Narendra Modi government was hell bent on holding the Lok Sabha elections early, most probably in December this year, six months ahead of the schedule and simultaneously with the Assembly polls in some important states.
Congress leader Nana Patole with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann at the venue.
The firebrand CM was supposed to place her view during the informal discussion that was scheduled to be held between the I.N.D.I.A strategists, who were also supposed to finalise the agenda for Friday`s formal meeting.
Convenor or panel?
The most talked about issue was whether to have a convenor or a panel of 10 or 11 members to take the alliance forward. Some invitees could be added to expand it. There could be panels to handle things other than policy matters, said a leader.
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren at the conclave venue
Another issue to be thrashed out was a seat-sharing formula (whether national or state-wise). Some parties are not in favour of an individual to be named as a convenor and want the seat-sharing formula to be finalised after the state elections are held. Most of these states so far have a bipolar fight between the Congress and the BJP. A convenor`s post is considered of great importance because some leaders who had held it in different national alliances were later made the PM or were in the race for the post.
Though Congress leader Rahul Gandhi denied any difference of opinion over pushing the Adani issue in the Opposition bloc, observers felt that it wasn`t just spoke parties in INDIA, but the state leaders, particularly the CMs of the Congress-governed states that were reluctant to take the protest forward, because of the heavy investments the corporate house has in their respective fiefdoms.
NCP leader Supriya Sule
‘Adani issue, priority’
Congress media incharge Jairam Ramesh said raising the Adani issue would be a priority during the Special Session of the Parliament.
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi also arrive at the I.N.D.I.A conclave. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Mumbai, the country`s financial capital, has seen for the first time, such a gathering of opposition leaders, who have one thing in common to say: We want to send the BJP packing. But it seemed on Thursday that the BJP had played smart to make an attempt to scuttle the Opposition, which has promised to come out with something concrete to achieve its goal.