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Business News/ Elections / Congress, AAP make shaky progress towards seat-sharing in four states; some lament 'will be much easier to...'
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Congress, AAP make shaky progress towards seat-sharing in four states; some lament 'will be much easier to...'

As 2024 Lok Sabha Polls near, seat-sharing talks intensify between INDIA bloc allies. AAP-Congress talks in final stages for Chandigarh, Haryana, Goa, Gujarat, and Delhi.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind KejriwalPremium
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

As 2024 Lok Sabha Polls near, the seat-sharing talks between INDIA bloc allies intensifies. What has particularly taken centre stage is the talks between Aam Aadmi Party and Congress that bolstered after the grand old party declared its seat-sharing compromise with Samajwadi party in Uttar Pradesh, and especially after the Supreme Court of India upturned the Chandigarh Mayoral Poll. 

Seat-sharing talks between Congress and AAP faced a dead end in Punjab, wherein the Bhagwant Singh Mann government has refused to share fate for the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls with the grand old party. 

However, several media reports have confirmed that the seat-sharing talks between AAP and Congress are in the final stages for Chandigarh, Haryana, Goa, Gujarat, and Delhi. 

While Delhi remains an AAP bastion, Chandigarh, Haryana, Goa, and Gujarat are the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) strongholds, wherein the INDIA bloc parties need to go in stronger, if they aim to take on the saffron party. 

The AAP has so far unilaterally declared its candidates in two seats each in Gujarat and Assam, and one in Goa.

AAP-Congress seat-sharing talks in Gujarat

Gujarat, a state where BJP returned to power with a whopping majority despite the Godhra riots, has been a BJP bastion in the past two decades. Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will see AAP contest two seats. 

While reports were strife that AAP plans to fight the Bharuch and Bhavnagar seats, Faisal Ahmed Patel, Congress leader and son of Senior Congress leader late Ahmed Patel, has said “it will be much easier for Congress to win Bharuch district, AAP's strength is only on one Assembly seat...we believe that Congress should get the Bharuch district".

According to media reports, Ahmed Patel's daughter, Mumtaz, wants to contest the Bharuch seat elected her father thrice between 1977 and 1984. Bharuch has been with the BJP since; the party has not lost after Chandubhai Deshmukh's 1989 win.

Notably, both the Bharuch and Bhavnagar seats are held by BJP's Mansukhbhai Vasava and Bharti Shiyal, respectively. The AAP has already named its candidates.

AAP seemed to have gained confidence in Gujarat post the 2022 Surat civic polls, and their achievement in securing five-seats in the Gujarat Assembly Polls in an otherwise saffron state. 

Meanwhile, Congress has only lost populism in Gujarat, failing to win a Lok Sabha seat since 2009, when it claimed 11 of 26.

The BJP swept the state in the 2014 and 2019 general elections.

AAP-Congress seat-sharing talks in Chandigarh

NDTV reports Congress is set to fight Chandigarh's sole Lok Sabha seat, which is held by the BJP's Kirron Kher, who won the seat in 2014 and 2019. However, the Congress' Pawan Kumar Bansal won it for three terms previously.

AAP-Congress seat-sharing talks in Delhi

According to media reports, the Congress and AAP are likely to share the seven Lok Sabha seats for Delhi. According to India Today, Congress will likely get 3 of the seven seats as the seat-sharing talks with the AAP reach the final round. AAP, which is ruling the national capital, will likely contest the remaining four seats.

The BJP won all seven seats in Delhi back to back in 2014 and 2019 elections. Interestingly, the BJP candidates in 2019 polled more votes than the combined tally of Congress and AAP candidates.

AAP-Congress seat-sharing talks in Haryana

According to media reports, in Haryana, AAP is expected to fight one seat. However, it is no secret that Haryana Congress leader have been vehemently vocal about their opposition in allying with AAP, a party the former believes led to Congress loosing the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.

Like Gujarat, the BJP dominated this state in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, winning all 10 seats with nearly 60 per cent of votes. The Congress returned with less than 29 per cent of the votes.

The AAP did not contest this election. 

AAP-Congress seat-sharing talks in Goa

The AAP had earlier said Venzy Viegas would fight from South Goa seat, will now withdraw the Benaulim MLA and hand the seat to the Congress, for whom Francisco Sardinha won in 2019, reports NDTV.

However, it remains unclear as to which of the two parties will contest the North Goa seat, which is held by the BJP.

AAP to go solo in Punjab

In Punjab AAP is set to contest all 13 seats. Notably, in the last Lok Sabha election the Congress won eight seats here and the AAP just one.

Since then, though, fortunes have been completely reversed, with the AAP dominating the 2022 Assembly election; it won 92 of 117 seats.

Seat-Sharing in Uttar Pradesh

Congress Uttar Pradesh in-charge Avinash Pande announced on Wednesday that the party will contest on 17 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. He said the remaining 63 seats will have candidates of INDIA bloc — from Samajwadi Party (SP) and other parties.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sayantani Biswas
Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers stories of International and Indian politics, conflict
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 22 Feb 2024, 11:04 PM IST
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