Opposition parties Alliance Takes a Step Forward
After nearly two weeks of disagreements regarding seat sharing within the INDIA bloc, the Opposition parties alliance has taken a significant step forward. The national coordination committee of the INDIA bloc is set to convene in Delhi on Wednesday, with the meeting hosted at the residence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
First Meeting of the Coordination Committee
This gathering marks the inaugural meeting of the coordination committee, established during the conclave held on September 1 in Mumbai. Currently comprising 13 members, the committee is awaiting the nomination of its representative from the CPI (M). Given Sharad Pawar’s seniority within the committee, his residence was chosen as the venue for the initial meeting. Other notable members include K.C. Venugopal (Congress), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Abhishek Banerjee (TMC), Raghav Chadha (AAP), and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena).
During the Mumbai meeting, Sharad Pawar proposed that the INDIA bloc should consider fielding consensus candidates in 375-400 out of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats. This suggestion came after it became apparent that key figures such as Mamata Banerjee (TMC), Sitaram Yechuri (CPI-M), and Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) were not inclined to ally with Congress in their respective states.
Sources suggest that the “unrealistic” seat-sharing demands put forth by Congress are at the heart of the issue. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party rejected Congress’ request to reserve 18-20 seats out of the 80 available. Similarly, in Bihar, the Congress is open to contesting in 10 out of 42 seats, while the JDU and RJD alliance is unwilling to allocate more than six seats. The AAP has reportedly informed Congress that it may claim more seats in Gujarat and Haryana if Congress insists on contesting as an alliance partner in Punjab and Delhi.
In Maharashtra, Congress aims to contest 16 out of 48 seats, but the Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP are not prepared to offer more than 10 seats.
Sharad Pawar also held a closed-door meeting with Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and his associate Sanjay Raut at his residence on Tuesday, the details of which remain undisclosed.