Home News J&K, Bihar, Maharashtra OK For INDIA Seat-Sharing. Bengal An Issue: Sources

J&K, Bihar, Maharashtra OK For INDIA Seat-Sharing. Bengal An Issue: Sources


The INDIA opposition alliance consists of 28 national and regional parties (File).

New Delhi:

The INDIA alliance is moving closer to a national seat-sharing agreement amenable to all 28 members of the bloc, sources told NDTV Friday, as the clock ticks down to one of the most crucial elections in the country’s history. A final decision is likely by the end of the month, sources said.

The push to conclude these talks as early as possible comes from concerns the Bharatiya Janata Party may try to pre-empt the opposition’s efforts at unification by calling for an early election.

A deal – between over two dozen parties that have squabbled, made-up and squabbled again with each other over the past several elections – has been a big talking point since the bloc was formed. The focus will be on ‘one-on-one’ contests, i.e., picking one INDIA candidate – from the party with the best chance of defeating the BJP – for each seat, and counting on the others’ full support on the campaign trail. The idea is simple – stem the division, or fracturing, of votes.

READ |Seat-Sharing Test As INDIA Eyes Common Minimum Programme In Meet

In some states agreements may be easy – for example in Maharashtra, where the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena UBT are already allies. In others this may be more difficult; Bengal, for example, where there is little love lost between the ruling Trinamool and its rivals, the Congress and the CPIM.

The two sides each put up a candidate for last week’s Dhupguri bypoll, resulting in a Congress + CPIM vs Trinamool slugfest. The Trinamool took the seat but the BJP was only 4,300 seats behind.

INDIA Seat-Sharing Talks Progress

Across the country there are 100 Lok Sabha seats in which the Congress is expected to go head-to-head with the BJP. There will, therefore, be no seat-sharing for these, sources have told NDTV.

As for the remaining 443, a deal is almost ready – between the Congress, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party – for Jammu and Kashmir’s five Lok Sabha seats.

In Maharashtra Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena faction will likely each get 16 of the state’s 48 seats.

In Bihar the ruling Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal must figure out how to divide the party’s 40 seats with the Congress and a Left party. Significant in this discussions is the RJD, which is the largest party in the State Assembly but does not have a seat in the Lok Sabha.

The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have to split Delhi’s seven and Punjab’s 13 seats. The latter may be difficult after state leaders claimed the “direction” of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to declare the AAP will contest all seats.

READ | “No Alliance”: AAP, Congress Leaders Not Keen On INDIA Tie-Up In Punjab

In Gujarat, the AAP’s state boss said last month there will be a division of the 26 seats there.

The Bengal Conundrum?

A question mark, though, lies over Bengal, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool has a decidedly frosty relationship with both the Congress and the CPIM-led Left Front.

Ms Banerjee is in Spain and talks over Bengal’s 42 seats will commence on her return, sources said. She may be willing to accommodate the Congress – given cordial relations with Sonia Gandhi – but an agreement with the CPIM will be harder.

The task may be harder still after INDIA announced plans to push for a caste census – something Ms Banerjee had opposed. The committee made the announcement on Wednesday – at a meeting the Trinamool’s representative was unable to attend.

“Will Contest Together…”

Earlier this month INDIA said it intends to contest all future elections together, but the “… as far as possible” addendum raised eyebrows. And in seven bypolls held last week – in which the bloc eased to a 4-3 win – that caveat was underlined.

READ | “Will Contest Polls Together As Far As Possible”: INDIA Bloc’s Resolution

Two of INDIA’s wins, though, came despite ‘allies’ fighting each other.

In Kerala it was the Congress vs the Communist Party of India (Marxist) but in Bengal it was the Trinamool Congress vs the Congress and the CPIM. The contests underlined the wording of the bloc’s Mumbai declaration, which said INDIA plans to “contest polls together, as far as possible”.

READ | Congress, Trinamool Win In Key Polls After INDIA Allies Fight Each Other

For INDIA to be as effective as possible in dislodging the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it must maximise every opportunity, including presenting a united front as much as possible.

Source link

Previous articleUS Man,19, Rapes, Holds Girlfriend Captive Over “Infuriating” Social Media Posts
Next articleIndian National Jailed In Singapore For Biting Off Fellow Worker’s Finger


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here