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Business News/ Politics / News/  Lok Sabha 2024: Congress-SP seat-sharing talks failed in UP? Here's what INDIA bloc allies say

Lok Sabha 2024: Congress-SP seat-sharing talks failed in UP? Here's what INDIA bloc allies say

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The Samajwadi Party had earlier offered the Congress 17 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. However, reports claimed on Tuesday that the two political parties didn't achieve consensus on the seat-sharing deal. Here's what leaders of the INDIA alliance said.

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (HT_PRINT)Premium
Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (HT_PRINT)

Is INDIA bloc staring at another big jolt, this time in Uttar Pradesh? The seat-sharing talks between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress reportedly hit a "dead-end" after late night negotiations. However, Congress leader KC Venugopalm said on Tuesday the “seat-sharing will be finalised at any point of time".

On Monday, the SP offered the Congress 17 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, asserting that its chief Akhilesh Yadav will join the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Raebareli only if the proposal is accepted. Uttar Pradesh has a total of 80 Lok Sabha seats.

"We have given a final offer of 17 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress. Akhilesh Yadav's participation in the Nyay Yatra in Raebareli on Tuesday will depend on their acceptance," SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI on Monday. He didn't share details of the seats offered to the Congress.

A day later, on Tuesday, a few reports claimed that the alliance between the Congress and the SP "has fallen through" or "reached a dead end". India Today reported that the SP's refusal to part with Ballia, Moradabad, and Bijnor proved to be the deal-breaker".

Meanwhile, India TV reported that no consensus could be reached despite late night talks between leaders of the two parties on Monday over the seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

Times Now also cited sources as saying, "Congress-SP talks on seat sharing have failed in Uttar Pradesh over three seats." It was being reported that the Congress wanted Moradabad, Ballia, and Bijnor seats, but the SP didn't agree to the Congress' demand.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had earlier said that the seat-sharing talks are on on 11 Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha seats. Meanwhile, Ajay Rai, the Congress' Uttar Pradesh unit chief, had said the party should get around two dozen seats (of 80 seats) it had won in the 2009 general elections. The Samajwadi Party and the Congress are partners in the opposition INDIA bloc.

How SP reacted

An SP spokesperson said during a debate on DD news that Akhilesh had said he won't join Rahul Gandhi's yatra till the seat-sharing is finalised. "It is not that the alliance will be broken of he doesn't join the yatra," he said on Tuesday. "We have an alliance, and there will be alliance in future," the spokesperson added.

SP spokesperson Anurag Bhadouria told Times Now, “We are all together. There is no problem with the INDIA alliance. The BJP is scared that's why they are spreading rumors..."

How Congress reacted

Congress leader KC Venugopal said the discussions over the seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh are still on and that solutions would be found out soon. Venugopal, who is general secretary (organisation) said, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has formed a national alliance committee for talks and it is carrying on with its work.

"...We are in the process and our alliance team is there. the Congress president has appointed a team of alliance (leaders). Day by day they are discussing with everybody. We are in great form, solution will come," Venugopal told reporters on Tuesday. He was replying to queries about some INDIA bloc parties having decided to fight on their own.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also said talks are going on and "there is a positive atmosphere". He told ANI that the SP “wants to contest elections with the INDIA alliance and we also want the alliance to become stronger... Akhilesh Yadav's statement yesterday was very positive and we want the seat-sharing formula to be decided soon..."

SP fields 27 candidates for Lok Sabha elections

Akhilesh Yadav's SP has already declared 27 candidates for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. It announced the first list of 16 candidates on January 30. The list included the name of Dimple Yadav, Shafiqur Rahman Barq, Ravidas Mehrotra, Akshay Yadav and Kajal Nishad.

On Monday, the party announced its candidates for 11 seats. The second list included the name of Afzal Ansari, brother of gangster turned politician Mukhtar Ansari. 

SP leader resigns

A week after tendering his resignation from the post of Samajwadi Party national general secretary, Swami Prasad Maurya resigned from the party's primary membership and the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council on Tuesday. He said, "I have always worked for the Samajwadi Party but some anti-social elements tried to create hurdles for me."

"The national president had failed to take action against such people. I wrote a letter regarding this on February 13 but no action was taken following which I resigned as the party's national general secretary. Today, I have resigned from the party's primary membership and the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council," he told PTI.

Maurya, a prominent leader from the backward classes, earlier accused the leadership of discriminating against him and not defending him over his controversial statements on the Ramcharitmanas and the Ayodhya temple consecration ceremony.

A day after Swami Prasad Maurya resigned as SP national general secretary (on Fenruary 13), party's national secretary Ram Govind Chaudhary wrote a letter to Akhilesh Yadav, requesting him not to accept the resignation as he was countering "poison" being spread by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 20 Feb 2024, 05:32 PM IST
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