Finally, Congress gets its act together on pre-poll alliances in key states

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Updated: Mar 22, 2019 4:23 PM

Congress Pre-Poll Alliance: After suffering reverses in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal, the Congress party is finally able to forge alliances in key states, including Bihar.

UPA, Congress Party, Pre-Poll Alliances, Grand Alliance, RJD, AAP, DMK, Rahul Gandhi, SP-BSP-RLD,Congress Pre-Poll Alliance: Although, the NDA under PM Modi and Amit Shah has taken lead in stitching alliances, the Congress is finally getting its act together and firming up its coalition.

Congress Pre-Poll Alliance: The Congress party has firmed up alliances in Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir after inordinate delays that gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP a headstart in preparations for the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April-May this year.

Negotiations between the Congress party and its potential partners gathered pace as the last date for filing of nominations for first phase of the Lok Sabha elections draws near. The window for filing nominations for 91 Lok Sabha seats in 20 states and Union territories will close in the next five days. The Congress is yet to finalise seat sharing with allies in several key states.

In Bihar, the Congress and its alliance partners have finalised the seat sharing for 40 seats. While the RJD will fight in 19 seats, the Congress will field candidates 9. RLSP got 4 and three seats each have been given to Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Mukesh Sahni led Vikashsheel Insan Party (VIP), two seats have been given to the Left parties and one to Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).

As reported earlier by Financial Express Online earlier, RJD, the Congress and other UPA constituents will announce their seat sharing agreement a day after Holi.

Similarly, after a lot of dilly-dallying, the Congress and National Conference also announced their seat sharing agreement for Jammu & Kashmir. Earlier National Conference has taken a tough stand that it will not give any of the three seats in Kashmir valley to the Congress party. However, after a meeting between senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Election: It’s advantage NDA in Bihar as UPA allies squabble

Under the deal, former chief minister Omar Abdullah’s party will contest from the state capital Srinagar. However, the parties are expected to have a friendly contest in Baramaullah and Anantnag seat. The parties are yet to finalise their arrangement for the only Buddhist seat in the state – Ladakh. Under the formula, the Congress will get to field candidates from Jammu & Udhampur.

The Congress has already sealed its alliance with DMK in Tamil Nadu, its alliance partner during the two UPA terms. The Congress-DMK alliance remained intact during the tenure of Modi government as well.

ALSO READ: Congress, RJD reach seat sharing pact in Bihar, announcement to be made after Holi

The grand old party has also finalised its agreement with Sharad Pawar led NCP in Maharashtra and Apna Dal faction led by Krishna Patel in Uttar Pradesh. However, Apna Dal faction led by union minister Anupriya Patel is still part of NDA after initial bickering.

Delhi and West Bengal

The Congress party’s effort to forge a pre-poll alliance with Aam Admi Party in Delhi has met stiff resistance from within. Former chief minister Sheila Dixit has openly voiced her opposition to the alliance saying that she was not consulted.

Aam Admi Party, which was upset over dilly-dallying and internal feud of Congress Party has already announced its candidates for all 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

Similarly, the Party could not finalise its seat sharing agreement with the Left parties in West Bengal. Having strong alliance partners in these two states are crucial for the Congress party to put up a strong fight. If there is no deal between the Congress and the Left parties in West Bengal then a three-corner contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the Left parties will become a four corner contest.

Despite strong efforts, the party has not succeeded in getting into SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh.

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