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  India   Politics  25 Jan 2024  Didi, Mann reject I.N.D.I.A.

Didi, Mann reject I.N.D.I.A.

Published : Jan 25, 2024, 1:06 am IST
Updated : Jan 25, 2024, 1:06 am IST

Talks between AAP and Congress for seat sharing in Delhi are at an advanced stage

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann. (PTI)
 Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann. (PTI)

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday suffered a double whammy. Hours after TMC chief Mamata Banerjee ruled out any alliance with the Congress in West Bengal, Punjab chief minister B.S. Mann declared that there will be "no AAP alliance with the Congress in Punjab for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls".

The AAP is part of the 28-party I.N.D.I.A. bloc along with the Congress, TMC and the CPM-led Left Front, among others. The Punjab Chief Minister made the statement at a time when the AAP and the Congress are locked in talks over seat sharing in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Goa and Gujarat for the general election. Insiders claim that the only solace that the Congress has is that an alliance between the AAP and the Congress can still take place in Delhi.

Talks between two parties for seat sharing in Delhi are at an advanced stage.

The decision by the Trinamul Congress and the AAP to go solo in their strongholds needs to be seen against the backdrop of a persistent tussle between the Congress and regional forces within the I.N.D.I.A. bloc. While regional parties, specifically the TMC, AAP and the SP, have repeatedly demanded the leading role in their bastions, the Congress, determined to play the big brother role, has pushed for a bigger pie during seat-sharing talks at the state level.

Sounding an optimistic note despite the setbacks, general secretary of the Congress Sachin Pilot said, “In the end, all I.N.D.I.A. bloc partners will sit across the table and talk. All matters will be sorted."

Notwithstanding the claims of unity at I.N.D.I.A. meetings, attacks and counter-attacks between the Congress and the ruling parties in both West Bengal and Punjab have continued unabated over the past few months. Both state Congress units — led by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in West Bengal and Amarinder Raja Singh Warring in Punjab — have been opposed to an alliance at the state level and have lost no opportunity in hitting out at the state governments.

Also, there is trouble brewing in Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, who has finalised seat-sharing talks with the RLD, indicated his reluctance to be part of the yatra. There have been three rounds of meetings between the SP and the Congress leaders over seat sharing. Several permutations and combinations have also been discussed, but a final decision has yet to be reached.

The Congress also finds itself in a precarious position in Maharashtra. Two rounds of meetings have already taken place between the leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), which includes the Shiv Sena UBT, the Congress and the NCP. The regional parties in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc have started flexing their muscles after the disastrous performance of the Congress in the recently concluded state assembly elections, where the Congress could only win one state out of five that went to polls last year.




Tags: bhagwant mann, india alliance, mamata banerjee
Location: India, Punjab