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Non-BJP Opposition bloc to be named ‘Patriotic Democratic Alliance(PDA)’? Final decision at Shimla meet

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PDA would be given a final shape at the Shimla meeting, where the next level of deliberation of opposition leaders would take place between July 10-12

The name of the proposed opposition front could be “Patriotic Democratic Alliance” or PDA, and a final decision on this would be taken at the next meeting of opposition parties at Shimla next month, said people familiar with the matter..

Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja made an assertion to this effect while addressing party workers in Patna on Saturday, said people. He also said the PDA would be given a final shape at the Shimla meeting, where the next level of deliberation of opposition leaders would take place between July 10-12.

When contacted, D Raja said on the phone to HT on Sunday that the name of the alliance could be ‘PDA’ but stressed a final decision had not been taken yet. “We can say the new alliance could be named Patriotic Democratic Alliance (PDA). We have not taken a final decision on it. We have the primary objective of defeating the NDA and all the opposition parties have a clarity on it,” he said.

Raja also said that the opposition parties coming on board the proposed front have a secular and democratic ideology and the new front’s name would have a reflection of it. “In Tamil Nadu, there is the Secular Democratic Front whereas in Bihar, we have the Mahagatbandhan. So, we will have a name which would share our commitments as a combined opposition,” he added.

In 2004, after the general polls, the Congress, Left, and other regional parties formed United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to form government at the Centre. In Bihar, the RJD-JD(U), the Congress and the Left aligned together before the 2015 assembly polls to form a grand alliance or Mahagatbandhan.

D Raja’s announcement, coming just a day after the Patna meet, is an indication that the exercise of giving a formal shape to the proposed front has already advanced and the Shimla meeting is likely to put a stamp on its structure and various aspects of seat sharing among various constituencies, said the people mentioned above.

Incidentally, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her address during the joint press conference after the opposition meet had insisted that “they should not be called ‘opposition’ but ‘patriotic’ as they were all citizens of the country”.

RJD top leaders, aware of the developments of the meeting, said there has been no discussion on the name of the new alliance and all these matters would be taken for discussion at the Shimla meeting.

“We can say the meeting was very fruitful,” said Manoj Jha, RJD MP, when asked that leaders have christened the proposed front as PDA. Congress state president Akhilesh Prasad Singh could not be reached for comments.

On June 23, 15 parties opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- Central government, including the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Janata Dal-United [JD(U)], three major Left parties, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) represented by their party heads had gathered at a mega opposition meet on the call of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at his official bungalow in Patna where they resolved to stay united and collectively fight against BJP led NDA government at the centre headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Source: HT News

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