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Election Commission must intervene: Naming Opposition alliance 'India' unacceptable

By NS Venkataraman 

The recently concluded meeting of some opposition parties in Bangalore to jointly put their efforts to defeat the Prime Minister Modi in 2024 election, has named their group as Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, which can otherwise be referred as “INDIA” in short. This nomenclature has caused considerable surprise and anxiety amongst the discerning people.
Of course, there are number of political parties in India and the name of such parties have the term India included such as Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and so on. There is nothing wrong in having such names with India being there. However, having a name only as “ India” for political group has several serious implications. While this political group would claim that its name is Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance , In practical terms , in speeches and writings , only the short name” India” will be used to refer to this political group. This is already happening in media reports and even by the parties involved in this political group.
When this opposition political group would contest in the elections, they would, of course, contest only in the name of their political party. But, in the election campaign, they would seek votes for their group which they would clearly refer as “India”. In practical terms, this would make it look as if 2024 election would be between the political group “India” and Narendra Modi led political group. The gullible voters would be misled thinking that Narendra Modi led political group is fighting against “India”. This may create view amongst gullible voters that they have to vote only for “India”.
Certainly, the implications are known to the opposition political group while carving out the name Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, as they can advantageously call themselves as “India”.
India’s electoral system is such that anybody beyond 18 years of age can vote irrespective of their educational qualification or their level of understanding of economic, social and political issues. The opposition political groups is certainly targeting to exploit this situation in their favour by using the short terms “India” to mislead the gullible voters.
This is an unacceptable situation, though it appears that there is no law that prevents a political group to call themselves as "India”.
The ball is now clearly in the court of the Election Commission of India and it should take note of this situation . The election commission should ask the opposition political group not to refer their name as “India” during the political discourse or in the election campaign. The Election Commission should tell the media clearly that whenever they refer to this political group , they should term it I.N.D.I.A both in writing as well as in discussions and never use the term ”India”.
Certainly, the opposition political parties should refrain from using such negative tactics to defeat the Prime Minister Modi in 2024 election.
Today, it appears that the opposition political group have virtually reduced their strategy to a hate Modi campaign and have not discussed any policy programmes or development plans while meeting in Bangalore. In such conditions, ethos of India’s electoral democracy has gone for a toss and it is made worse by using such tactics of using the name of the political group as “India” in short.

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