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In Big Show Of Unity, INDIA Bloc Holds Strategy Meet Ahead Of Counting Day

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The INDIA bloc is holding a crucial strategy meet as the Lok Sabha elections draw to a close. The meeting is being held at the Delhi residence of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. Senior leaders of Aam Aadmi Party — Arvind Kejriwal and Sanjay Singh — CPM's Sitarm Yechury, National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah and others have already reached the venue.

Only Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is not participating in view of the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections and relief operations for Cyclone Remal that passed through Bengal earlier this week.

While the official reason cited for the meeting is to devise a strategy to ensure smooth counting at state and district levels, sources indicate the focus is on keeping the flock together.

The point is crucial ahead of results in the event of the NDA winning by narrow margins, confided Congress leaders. The party is expecting the NDA to get no more than 260-270 seats, which leaves it short of majority mark by just a few seats.

Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav has predicted no more than 270 seats for the NDA, which leaves it short of the majority mark by just two seats.

But the alliance wants to stick together even if it does not have the numbers.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, ahead of the meeting, Mr Kharge said, "The fight is still not over, and the leaders and workers of all the parties are extremely alert… We have fought the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 with all our might and are confident of a positive outcome, as the people of India have supported us".

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.… pic.twitter.com/EjcpNAktlT

— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) June 1, 2024

The exit poll is expected this evening, and the Congress has refused to join in the discussions thereafter, drawing jeers from the BJP camp.
While the Congress said it considers exit polls entirely avoidable, given the counting will take place within days, the BJP has called it a tacit acceptance of defeat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, concluded his 45-hour meditation retreat at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Tamil Nadu's Kanniyakumari and is heading back to Delhi.

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