Mamata did not take Kharge\’s name but hinted at \’Dalit PM\’ face: Cong leader

During the fourth gathering of the opposition coalition INDIA, the topic of selecting a Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was deliberated. Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal endorsed Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge as the representative of the Indian National Democratic Inclusive Alliance against PM Modi. However, Kharge turned down the proposal, stressing the need to prioritize winning the elections.

Congress leader PJ Joseph clarified that Mamata did not explicitly mention Kharge\’s name but indicated that having a \’Dalit PM\’ would be advantageous for the alliance. The Congress refrained from officially responding to the proposal, and Kharge, during the press briefing, underscored the importance of focusing on securing seats before deliberating on the Prime Ministerial candidate.

Insiders disclosed that Kharge dismissed the idea due to his consistent avoidance of caste politics, advocating for equality throughout his political career. Kharge\’s nomination encountered opposition from JD(U) and the RJD, leading Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav to leave the meeting prematurely.

The meeting concluded with the decision that seat-sharing discussions would no longer be deferred, and there would be a mutual understanding on seat allocation in the states by the year-end. Simultaneously, the UP Congress encouraged Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Kharge to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh, citing the state\’s political significance and the historical significance of Rae Bareli and Amethi for the party. UP Congress president Ajay Rai expressed confidence in the personal connection that the Gandhi family has with the residents of these constituencies.

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