Lucknow: The INDIA bloc, touted as a potential challenger to the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, hit a roadblock on Saturday as Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav announced seat sharing for Uttar Pradesh that Congress “disagrees” with.
Yadav declared 11 seats for Congress in the crucial state with 80 Lok Sabha seats, aiming for a winning equation strategy. However, Congress sources quickly countered, stating the decision remains theirs, not Yadav’s.
This discordance casts a shadow over the INDIA bloc’s ambitious plans. In the 2019 elections, the BJP and its allies swept 62 seats in Uttar Pradesh, leaving the SP-BSP alliance with 15 and Congress with a solitary seat. Congress had expressed hopes for 50 seats in the upcoming polls.
Following the reported dissent, the Samajwadi Party clarified that the 11-seat offer was just a proposal. They offered flexibility to increase the number if Congress identifies winnable candidates.
This comes just after fissures emerged within the bloc. Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab both declined alliances with Congress, raising concerns about its ability to forge a united front against the BJP.
Adding fuel to the fire, Yadav, in a Friday interview, blamed Congress for the lack of enthusiasm and engagement within the INDIA bloc. He emphasized the need for proactive discussions and collaboration from all potential partners.
With cracks appearing in the INDIA bloc’s foundation, questions arise about its effectiveness in taking on the BJP. Congress must address internal dissent and engage constructively with its allies to solidify the alliance and present a viable alternative to the ruling party. Otherwise, the 2024 Lok Sabha elections could see a repeat of the past, with the BJP retaining its dominance.
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