The public meeting held at Khammam in Telangana by Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Wednesday signals the formation of a new political bloc in the country sending out a clear message that there is a possibility of the emergence of an anti-BJP and anti-Congress coalition ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Apart from BRS President and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, the meeting was attended by three Chief Ministers — Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala, CPM), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi, AAP), Bhagwant Mann (Punjab, AAP); and CPI General Secretary D Raja and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav.

All of them are facing challenges from the NDA. Though the aggregate representation of all these five parties in Lok Sabha is under 15 seats, we can’t ignore the fact that they are in power in four economically strong States.

But for the CPM and CPI, the remaining three parties have been quite vocal against both the BJP and Congress, mostly driven by their respective local compulsions. Unlike their peers in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, they face a challenge from Congress in the respective states. While Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin and Nitish Kumar Yadav insist that an anti-BJP alliance without Congress is not possible, KCR, Kejriwal, and Akhilesh Yadav feel that there is a space for a strong anti-BJP and anti-Congress coalition. It is not clear yet whether these efforts will turn into a pre-poll alliance, but the message is loud and clear that an alternative political bloc is taking root in the country.

The Congress party sees a conspiracy behind the idea. It alleges that the aim of KCR and others in his league is to cash in on a strong anti-BJP sentiment and split votes in order to harm its prospects at the hustings. It may have a reason to worry. Besides hurting its own prospects, the new bloc could cause chinks in the UPA armor ahead of the crucial 2024 polls.

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