Active Stocks
Tue Apr 16 2024 15:59:30
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 160.05 -0.53%
  1. Infosys share price
  2. 1,414.75 -3.65%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 359.40 -0.54%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 751.90 -0.65%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,509.40 0.97%
Business News/ Politics / News/  SP-Congress deal sealed in UP: What next for INDIA bloc as clock ticks down to Lok Sabha elections 2024
BackBack

SP-Congress deal sealed in UP: What next for INDIA bloc as clock ticks down to Lok Sabha elections 2024

The SP-Congress formula announced on February 21 is the first seat-sharing agreement of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, an amalgamation of opposition parties that came up eight months ago to take on the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance bloc leaders during a meeting. (File Photo Hindustan Times) (HT_PRINT)Premium
The Opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance bloc leaders during a meeting. (File Photo Hindustan Times) (HT_PRINT)

The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress party have finally agreed on a seat-sharing arrangement for contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as part of the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress will contest 17 seats while the SP and other parties of the alliance will field its candidates in 63 of the 80 parliamentary seats in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. Also, the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP will contest Madhya Pradesh’s Khajuraho Lok Sabha seat and will in return support the Congress in the rest of the state’s 29 seats in the state, as part of the deal.

The announcement on February 21 is the first seat-sharing agreement of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), an amalgamation of leading opposition parties who have resolved to fight together in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Setbacks galore

 

The inaugural meeting of the Opposition coalition was held in Patna on June 23. Eight months since, the alliance has faced many setbacks. The biggest, of course, is from Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, who has now switched his party Janata Dal's (United) allegiance to the NDA. Kumar, who holds a record of sorts for his nine oaths as Bihar CM, was considered the architect of the INDIA bloc.

Other blows to the opposition alliance were Jayant Chaudhary's RLD deciding to leave it and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress refusing to enter into an alliance with the Congress in West Bengal.

 

Considering these setbacks, the UP and MP arrangement is good news for the beleaguered INDIA bloc. In fact, it will pave the way for the alliance partners to announce seat-sharing arrangements in other key states such as Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu, even as the April-May Lok Sabha poll is drawing close.

Here is how the seat-sharing arrangement in other states, other than UP and MP, looks like for the INDIA bloc:

AAP-Congress in Delhi & Punjab

 

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), part of the INDIA bloc, is in power in Delhi and Punjab - the two states which were once ruled by the Congress, the largest party in the Opposition bloc. While Punjab sends 13 members to the Lok Sabha, Delhi has seven Lok Sabha members.

While the AAP has decided to go solo in 13 seats of Punjab, the alliance talks for seven seats in Delhi are on track. The AAP will contest four Lok Sabha seats while the Congress will field its candidates in three seats, as per the agreed seat-sharing formula, according to sources. While a formal announcement is awaited, remember that the BJP had won all seven seats in both the 2014 and 2019 general elections.

The AAP is expected to get seats to contest in Chandigarh, Haryana and Gujarat, as per the deal. The agreement comes days after the AAP said that the Congress does not deserve even one seat in Delhi if one takes its electoral performance in Lok Sabha, Assembly and municipal polls.

Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal

 

Maharashtra, West Bengal and Bihar are three crucial states, after UP, sending 48, 42 and 40 members to the Lok Sabha, respectively.

While Nitish Kumar's switch dealt a blow to Opposition unity in Bihar, the Congress, the RJD and Left parties are likely to announce a seat-sharing formula soon. Rahul Gandhi, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Dipankar Bhattacharya are expected to hold a joint rally in Patna on March 3.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP won 17 seats, the JD-U won 16, the LJP won 6 and the Congress bagged a single seat in Bihar.

In Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar and eight other MLAs joining the NDA government on July 2 was yet another setback to the efforts for opposition unity. Sources said a seat-sharing arrangement between the Congress, the Shiv Sena (UBT), the NCP (Sharad Pawar) and the VBA will be announced soon.

“It will not be Modi Hai Toh Mumkin Hai in the ensuing elections. It will be Modi Hai Toh Namumkin Hai . The BJP’s lack of confidence in winning the ensuing election is seen from the fact that it is going full hog trying to break parties and import important leaders in its ranks," NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) leader Sharad Pawar said in Kolhapur on February 22.

In the 2019 general elections, the BJP won 23, Shiv Sena (NDA) won 18, the NCP won 4 and the Congress won two seats in Maharashtra.

Mamata Banerjee has decided not to be part of the INDIA bloc in her state, West Bengal. Of the 42 seats in West Bengal, the TMC won 22 and the BJP bagged 18 seats in 2019. The Congress won the remaining two seats.

J&K, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu

 

There is no clarity on the negotiations in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP holds two seats in the Jammu division while the National Conference has all three seats in the Kashmir division. The Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP are regulars in INDIA bloc events, despite being rivals in their UT.

In Jharkhand, the Congress and the JMM contested the 2019 polls in alliance and will repeat it this time too.

Seat sharing is also in the works on the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu where the DMK, the Congress and the Left are in alliance that won 38 of 39 seats in the 2019 general elections.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 22 Feb 2024, 05:23 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App