INDIA Block In Tatters: Why Congress Needs To Wake Up And Smell The Coffee Before It's Too Late?

INDIA Block In Tatters: Why Congress Needs To Wake Up And Smell The Coffee Before It's Too Late?

Amid widening rift between INDIA bloc partners, Congress on Saturday, January 27 got another shocker from its alliance partner in Uttar Pradesh.

Rahul MUpdated: Saturday, January 27, 2024, 09:15 PM IST
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The INDIA bloc, once envisioned as a united front against the ruling BJP, is facing deepening cracks that threaten its very existence. INDIA bloc, visibly led by the Congress, failed to finalise seat-sharing arrangements for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 in crucial states like West Bengal and Punjab.

After repeated verbal duel with Congress, Mamata Banerjee's TMC announced to go solo in the general elections West Bengal and the same decision has been taken by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab. Furthermore, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also contemplating his exit from the Mahagathbandhan as well as INDIA bloc. Amid widening rift between INDIA bloc partners, Congress on Saturday, January 27 got another shocker from its alliance partner in Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav announced that he his party has given Congress eleven Lok Sabha seats for 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Uttar Pradesh has 80 Lok Sabha seats, which is the highest in the country. While Akhilesh Yadav made everything about the "alliance" public, the Congress has reportedly not green-lighted the deal.

Congress Caught Off Guard

Yadav's unilateral decision left the Congress surprised. According to reports, Congress' state leadership has not accepted the seat-sharing arrangements that the SP chief announced. Congress leader Acharya Pramod made a sarcastic comment on Yadav's post declaring the SP-Congress "tie-up". "Lord, you did a great 'favour'," he wrote while reacting to Yadav's post. When it came to fore that the Congress is still not on board, a senior SP functionary told a daily: "If the Congress presents the names of winnable candidates on some more seats, we will certainly consider giving those seats."

Of the 80 seats in UP, the BJP and its ally Apna Dal (S) had won 62 out in 2019. The SP-BSP alliance bagged 15 seats. The Congress contested 67 of the 80 seats but could win only one. While there are conflicting reports on the number of seats the Congress wants this time, one thing has become apparent that the INDIA bloc partners lack coordination with each other.

Bihar Dilemma

In Bihar, Nitish Kumar's recent distancing from the INDIA bloc raises further concerns. Kumar's strained relationship with the Congress, coupled with BJP's overtures, has fueled speculation about a potential shift in Bihar's political landscape. This leaves the INDIA bloc's presence in a crucial state hanging in balance.

Maharashtra Puzzle

In Maharashtra too, the Maha Vikas Aghadi - the Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP and Congress combine - is struggling to keep everyone happy. The tussle between the Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress over South Mumbai parliamentary seat led to the exit of Milind Deora from the grand old party. Despite official invitation from the MVA, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar refused to join seat-sharing talks, stating state Congress chief Nana Patole has no decision-making powers. "Send us an invitation with respect and signed by the presidents of the respective parties, namely Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Sharad Pawar) and Congress in the MVA," Ambedkar demanded.

These fissures are creating confusion. If things continue to go down to this path, the narrative of a united front against the BJP, a key factor in success in some of the past elections, loses its potency. If the Congress doesn't move fast and bridge the gap, INDIA bloc could diminish even before the general elections are announced.

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