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Business News/ Elections / Will AAP, Congress step up to make INDIA bloc's seat-sharing formula a success?
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Will AAP, Congress step up to make INDIA bloc's seat-sharing formula a success?

While no official word has been shared, the Maharashtra Congress has said that the seat-sharing will be done based on the respective performance of parties in various states

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shakes hands with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during the Opposition parties meet (Shrikant Singh)Premium
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shakes hands with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during the Opposition parties meet (Shrikant Singh)

The seat-sharing is often a bone of contention between political alliances and for a pact as big as the I.N.D.I.A (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc, coming together to lay out a national roadmap against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha election 2024, any disagreement could be of paramount importance, threatening the unification. The third meeting of the INDIA bloc is happening in Mumbai of Maharashtra and this time, the Opposition faction is likely to decide on the logo of the alliance and seat-sharing formula.

The INDIA leaders went into an informal huddle on Thursday and the same would be followed by a formal meeting today, September 1.

While no official word has been shared, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said on Wednesday that the seat-sharing in the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will be done based on the respective performance of parties in various states.

“Our main goal is to end this dictatorship. This decision (seat sharing) will be taken as per the merit of the parties in different states. This will be discussed in the upcoming meetings of INDIA," Nana Patole said.

Even though everything’s been looked at through tinted glass to put up a strong front against the ruling NDA, it is during the process of seat sharing that alliances have the potential to fracture. A similar disagreement was recently evident between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress when Alka Lamba announced that the grand-old party will contest all seven Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming general elections.

Alka Lamba had said, “In the three-hour-long meeting, Rahul Gandhi, Kharge ji, KC Venugopal and Deepak Babaria ji were present. We have been asked to prepare for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It has been decided that we will prepare to contest all seven seats. Seven months are left and all the party workers have been asked to prepare for all seven seats."

The statement provoked the Arvind Kejriwal-led party to make an announcement that there was no use in attending the Mumbai I.N.D.I.A bloc meeting.

After Alka Lamba’s statement, AAP leader Priyanka Kakkar said, “If Congress has already decided not to form an alliance with us, then it is of no use for us to attend the next 'INDIA' alliance meeting. Our top leadership will decide whether or not we'll attend the next meeting", beginning a huddle and a clarification.

Congress was quick to distance itself from Alka Lamba's comment. “Alka Lamba is a spokesperson but she is not an authorised spokesperson for talking on such important issues. I have said as an in-charge that there were no such discussions in the meeting today. I refute Alka Lamba's statement," AICC in-charge Delhi Congress Deepak Babaria said.

Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has won Delhi thrice, with a record number of seats in Assembly polls but it didn't prove to be the party the national capital wanted. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won all seven constituencies.

The Congress, with limited influence in Delhi, anticipates an improved performance in the national capital, thanks in large part to Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra. Only time will tell which party is willing to make concessions.

In the context of Lok Sabha elections, certain 'strategic concessions' or “sacrifices" could potentially work in favor of the Opposition coalition. Ahead of I.N.D.I.A meeting, Arvind Kejriwal said his party was ready to make some “sacrifices" to support their collective efforts against the Modi government.

But today might not be the day to fix the seat-sharing formula. There are reports that seat-sharing would be left to state committees or would be finalised by September 30.

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Chanchal
Chanchal is a chief content producer at LiveMint. Chanchal is obsessed with Google incognito. She likes writing, politics, Oxford comma, Eddie Vedder, and a good keyboard. Follow her @chanchaltracks. If you have a story idea, send her a mail at chanchal@htdigital.in
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Published: 01 Sep 2023, 02:00 PM IST
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