Opposition parties’ character won’t change by changing name of their alliance: BJP

New Delhi: The BJP and its NDA partners on Tuesday hit out at the opposition parties, saying giving a new name to their alliance will not change their character and the 2024 Lok Sabha battle is going to be “Bharat Mata versus INDIA”.

They were reacting after 26 opposition parties announced their coalition – Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) – to unitedly take on the ruling NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asserting that the fight will be “between INDIA and Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

BJP IT department head Amit Malviya said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of the opposition parties had to kill its existence and acquire a new identity even when those who are part of this ‘new’ alliance haven’t changed.

“National Democratic Alliance was founded in 1998. 25 years later, on a day, an expanded, stronger, NDA is meeting. The UPA had to kill its existence and acquire a new identity, even when those, who are part of the ‘new’ alliance, haven’t changed,” Malviya tweeted.

“Character doesn’t change by changing names,” he added.

In another tweet, Malviya said UPA had become synonymous with corruption and regressive politics and the same players are now regrouping under a different name.

But the new name of the opposition alliance will not make them “any more credible”, he said, adding, “People will banish them to boondocks, again”.

The BJP leader alleged it is “apparent” that the opposition parties have come together to save their “shrinking turfs, not serve the people”.

“In 2024, the country will elect Prime Minister Modi, the leader… The future of our country is too precious to be risked with one of the self serving, corrupt, dynastic parties,” he added.

Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal founder and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha said in a tweet, “It will now be Bharat Mata versus INDIA (new name of opposition alliance).” He described the opposition’s INDIA grouping as an alliance of those who fill their pockets with the hard-earned money of the people and “suck poor people’s blood”.

“Our civilisational conflict is pivoted around India and Bharat. The British named our country as India. We must strive to free ourselves from colonial legacies.

“Our forefathers fought for Bharat, and we will continue to work for Bharat,” BJP leader and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.

“BJP for BHARAT,” he added.

NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto hit back at Sarma and asked when the BJP will change its Twitter handle’s name, which is BJP4India.

“Himanta Biswa Sarma says ‘British named our country India; we must free ourselves from colonial legacy’. So, when is @BJP4India changing its Twitter handle?” Crasto tweeted.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA will return to power in 2024 and dismissed the opposition alliance as a coalition of frustrated political parties who only have hatred towards Modi.

“The more they criticise Modi, the more seats NDA will win. We saw this in 2014, we saw this in 2019 and we will again see it in 2024,” said Shinde, who attended the meeting of NDA constituents chaired by the prime minister.