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INDIA bloc meeting underway at Mallikarjun Kharge's residence in Delhi

New Delhi: The opposition-led Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc meeting is underway at the residence of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge in the national capital on Saturday.

The meeting is being held on the polling day of the last phase of Lok Sabha polls. The counting of votes will be held on June 4.

TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had already said she would not attend the meeting due to the polls in the state and to review the impact of cyclone Remal.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also skipped the meeting.

Leaders from Congress, Samajwadi Party, CPI-M, CPI, DMK, JMM, AAP, RJD, Shiv Sena (UBT), and NCP (Sharad Pawar) gathered at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's residence for discussions as the final phase of polling is underway.

The meeting is being attended by Congress Parliamentary chiarperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, KC Venugopal, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, AAP leader Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh.

Meanwhile, in the meeting, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Sanjay Yadav, Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren, Kalpana Soren, DMK's TR Baalu, CPI's D Raja, CPIM leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI(ML) leader Dipankar Bhattacharya, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Desai, and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah was present at the meeting.

Congress chief Kharge posted a video of the meeting on X and said that leaders of the INDIA parties are informally meeting today to take stock of the preparations leading up to the counting day.

"The leaders of INDIA parties are informally meeting today to take stock of the preparations leading up to the counting day. The fight is still not over, and the leaders and workers of all the parties are extremely alert. I thank each one of them for their esteemed presence. We have fought the #LokSabhaElections2024 with all our might and are confident of a positive outcome, as the people of India have supported us. BADLEGA BHARAT, JEETEGA INDIA," he posted on X.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera made the announcement on Friday, saying the party doesn't see any reason to indulge in "speculation and slugfest for TRP."

"The Indian National Congress will not participate in the debates on #ExitPolls," he added.Khera further said that the party will participate in the debates after June 4, when the election results are out.

Citing the Lok Sabha elections and Cyclone Remal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she would not be able to attend the meeting.

Banerjee said, "The INDIA team is holding a meeting on June 1. I have told them I can't join as we have an election on 10 seats in West Bengal on the same day. Punjab, Bihar and UP also have elections on June 1. On one side is the cyclone, and on the other side, it is elections - I have to do everything. Cyclone relief is my priority right now."

She said that her priority was to provide relief to the victims and take care of them.

"My priority is to take care of the victims, provide shelter to them and help them. I am speaking here but my focus is on the relief work. This is an emotive issue," she added.

A total of 28 opposition parties have formed a mammoth coalition under the name of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Coalition (INDIA) to face and defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Voting started in the last 57 parliamentary constituencies at 7 am today across seven states and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Polling for the earlier six phases of Lok Sabha elections was held on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20 and May 25. The results of the polls will be declared on June 4.

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