Despite the high hype which surrounded the INDIA conclave, the deliberations lacked enthusiasm. Each of the 28 parties appeared to be bothered only about their future in a climate of uncertainty engendered by the Modi government's plan to have "One Nation, One Election". Most party leaders appeared to be wondering how they would fight both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously since that would place a tremendous load on their resources and organisational abilities.
Also, the speeches about unemployment, poverty and inflation were at variance with the uber luxurious ambiance of the Grand Hyatt with its tall ceilings, expensively carpeted flooring, mood lighting and silver cutlery.
Even though there was no substantial outcome of the INDIA alliance meet, the successful conclusion of the conclave demonstrated Shiv Sena (UBT) Uddhav Thackeray's organisational abilities. Along with Aaditya Thackeray, he mobilised select cadres to work out the nitty-gritty of the meeting. Over 200 rooms were booked at the Grand Hyatt. On Thursday night he hosted a dinner consisting of several Maharashtrian dishes.
On Friday, he launched a frontal attack on PM Modi and said that the BJP would be punished for enriching a few at the expense of the masses. He said before the elections Modi talked of “Sabka saath and sabka vikas” and after the polls he gave “laath” (kick) to the people. He said the reduction of Rs200 in the price of cooking gas will bring no relief to the people since the price of ingredients for cooking have shot up.
What they said:
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said reports in the western media making further disclosures about the alleged shenanigans of industrialist Gautam Adani were a matter of deep concern. He said it was a matter of shame that Manipur violence was not discussed in Parliament. The big encroachment of our territory by China and big ticket corruption were shocking developments and Modi should be made answerable to the nation.
MK Stalin, DMK CM of Tamil Nadu, spoke in Tamil which only a few understood. He noted that the coming together of so many parties against the BJP was a significant development in itself. He said there was an urgent need to fight the dictatorial policies of PM Modi. The countdown to the end of the BJP government has started, he said.
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) said the Modi government “was the most corrupt and arrogant government of independent India." He said CAD itself exposed corruption to the extent of several thousand crores. He said the Hindenburg report and the expose by western pink dailies revealed how the Modi government was working solely for the benefit of one person - Gautam Adani. He said INDIA alliance was not a mere assemblage of a few political parties, but it represented the coming together of 140 crore Indians.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav gave the call for ``BJP hatao, Desh bachao." He said the government survived on jumlas, Before the last polls, Modi promised to bring black money stashed in secret accounts abroad and deposit Rs 15 lakhs in the account of each India. In a lighter vein he said ``I too opened a bank account hoping that Rs 15 lakhs would come into it, but no such thing happened."
Sitaram Yechuri of the CPM said the INDIA alliance was formed primarily to save the Constitution. He said the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution were systematically trampled upon by the Modi government and hence the people need to come together to throw this regime out.
Sharad Pawar (NCP) said the conclave made the future line to be followed by the opposition very clear.