Is INDIA bloc making progress at seat-sharing talks ahead of Lok Sabha polls? A state-wise analysis

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Here's a look at how INDIA bloc's seat-sharing talks are going on in different states and what different political parties are demanding.

Written By Akriti Anand
Updated9 Jan 2024, 11:04 PM IST
Opposition leaders during a press conference after the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance�s (INDIA) meeting, in New Delhi.
Opposition leaders during a press conference after the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance�s (INDIA) meeting, in New Delhi.(PTI)

How smooth or difficult the seat-sharing talks have been for opposition parties so far? The INDIA bloc, a coalition of 26 opposition parties, has already started brainstorming over the number of seats they would like to contest the Lok Sabha Elections on. However, the Congress seems to be in a hot-spot as most of the regional parties have refused to any comprise in the seat-sharing aspect.

The Congress had reportedly informed its state units that it is considering to field candidates in 255 seats of the total 543 seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Here's a look at how seat-sharing talks are going on in different and what different political parties are demanding:

Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in power in Delhi. The national capital has seven Lok Sabha seats. According to India Today, the AAP offered three Lok Sabha seats to the Congress in Delhi. Meanwhile, the Times of India reported that the Congress expressed its keenness to contest the East Delhi, North East and Chandni Chowk seats.

Delhi and Punjab are two regions where the AAP and the Congress have remained at loggerheads. As these reports surfaced, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said, “We don't have the details whether they would offer us three or four seats. There was no clarity whether there would be an alliance in Delhi or not.”

Punjab

The AAP is currently ruling Punjab. Punjab has 13 Lok Sabha seats. As seat sharing talks are underway with the Congress, sources told India Today that the AAP has expressed willingness to give six seats to the Congress in the border state.

However, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said on January 4, “The AICC (All India Congress Committee) has told us to compete on all 13 seats... We have prepared to compete for all 13 seats. We will discuss the candidates and strategy to contest elections in the coming 3-4 months.”

Bihar

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United (JDU) has been firm in its demand for 16-17 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. According to PTI, a close aide of Kumar had earlier made it clear that for the JD(U), a number less than 16, its current strength in Lok Sabha, was out of question.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has also demanded 17 seats, leaving for seats for the Congress, Indian Express reported citing sources.

ALSO READ: INDIA bloc struggles for consensus as Lok Sabha polls near, Congress spars with TMC, JD(U) over seat-sharing

Amid the speculations that the Congress has been asked to settle for not more than four Lok Sabha seats, state Congress president Akhilesh Prasad Singh said, "The Mahagathbandhan as a whole, including the JD(U), will suffer if the Congress fights only four seats, though it is not our case that we be given nine just because we had contested that many in 2019."

As of now, the JD(U) holds 16 seats in Bihar; 17 are held by the BJP and the RJD does not have any Lok Sabha seat in the state.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats. Shiv Sena (UBT faction) leader Sanjay Raut has already said his party will contest on 23 Lok Sabha seats. Meanwhile, the NCP is likely demand 10-11 seats.

Besides, the Congress leaders reportedly decided that they should get 22-23 seats in the seat-sharing formula. However, Sanjay Raut had said earlier that Congress to start negotiating from zero when discussing the seat-sharing formula in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, the Times of India reported that the Congress may have to concede on a few seats and contest on 17-18 seats in the state.

Sanjay Raut said recently, "There is no fight (regarding seats) in Maharashtra...There can be some differences on 2-3 seats but we will have a discussion over it..." Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said, "Seat sharing in the MVA will be smooth... Seats will be shared based on merit and the MVA has to defeat the BJP on all seats for which, the entire plan is ready..."

Apart from this, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar appealed to the Shiv Sena (UBT) to ally with the VBA for Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra if Maha Vikas Aghadi members fail to finalise a seat-sharing formula. He said the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and the VBA can contest 24 seats each in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Gujarat

Gujarat has 26 Lok Sabha seats. Just ahead of seat-sharing talks with the Congress, Arvind Kejriwal declared jailed party MLA Chaitar Vasava as the party's candidate from Bharuch seat for Lok Sabha elections 2024. The AAP has sought one Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat, according to India Today report.

 

Haryana

Haryana has 10 Lok Sabha seats. The AAP has reportedly sought to contest on three Lok Sabha seats in the BJP-ruled state.

Goa

Goa sends two leaders to the Lok Sabha. The AAP reportedly sought one Lok Sabha seat in Goa, leaving the other one for the Congress.

West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) is currently in power in West Bengal, which has 42 Lok Sabha seats. The TMC reportedly offered two of its seats to INDIA bloc ally Congress the state for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

According to an NDTV report, the Congress tried to get 10 seats (which includes the two it won in 2019 polls). In the 2019 polls, the Trinamool won 22 seats, the Congress won two (Behrampore and Malda South), and the BJP secured 18 seats.

ALSO READ: INDIA bloc should finalise seat-sharing arrangement on Tuesday: Mamata Banerjee

Amid these claims, Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said his party doesn't need Banerjee's pity and can win more seats on its own. "It is Mamata who needs the Congress to win, not the other way around. We are quite capable of waging a solo fight in the state and winning more seats than we did last time," the Congress state chief was quoted by ANI as saying.

Reacting to Chowdhury's statement, TMC leader Kunal Ghosh said, "Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and the state Congress should maintain the line of the INDIA alliance. They are playing a double standard policy." Ghosh even called Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury "a BJP man".

Jharkhand

Jharkhand sends 14 of its leaders to the Lok Sabha. It is currently being ruled by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) with Hemant Soren as the chief minister. The Jharkhand unit of Congress informed its national leadership that it wants to contest nine out of 14 parliamentary seats in the Lok Sabha polls, the Times of India reported on January 6. Even the RJD is seeking more seats in the state.

Jharkhand Minister Alamgir Alam said earlier, "...We will be contesting the elections with the INDIA alliance. All the feedback has been given to our High Command. I don't think there will be any issue with seat sharing...The High Command will decide who will contest from which seat according to the potential of the candidate..."

The three parties — Congress, JMM and RJD — in Jharkhand had contested both Lok Sabha and assembly elections in alliance in 2019.

The seat-sharing talks in several other states, including the Uttar Pradesh, are yet to be taken up. The Lok Sabha Elections are set to held across the country this year. The Election Commission is yet to declare the schedule of the polls.

As the elections near, the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) consortium is gearing up to challenge the established National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Meanwhile, the BJP has started executing strategies it laid out in 2023 to secure victory in general elections.

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First Published:9 Jan 2024, 11:04 PM IST
HomePoliticsNewsIs INDIA bloc making progress at seat-sharing talks ahead of Lok Sabha polls? A state-wise analysis

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