‘Historic’ Deal Includes Congress Giving Historic Concessions To Regional Parties
Congress, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders met in Delhi on Wednesday (12 April) to take what Rahul Gandhi called a “historic deal” to unite the opposition of the country.
However, a closer look at the deal reveals that it might translate into Congress making historic concessions to regional parties.
Reports say that Nitish Kumar and Tejaswi Yadav of the JD-U and RJD respectively have signalled the Congress that it should focus only on those seats where the party won or came in second in the upcoming general elections of 2024.
This would mean that the Congress would be limited to fielding candidates on 260 seats only, while the other opposition parties would get the rest of the 280 seats.
The reasoning behind the proposal is that a united opposition would be able to tackle the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) better and they could avoid any splitting of votes.
Reports say that an agreement on this formula has been reached among Congress, JDU and RJD, and they are trying to get other regional parties onboard the ‘mahagathbandhan’ platform.
They are, however, open to any other ‘formula’ that any other parties might have.
As per the report, Nitish Kumar has been given the responsibility to onboard parties like Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), while Tejaswi would talk to Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti (BRS), formerly Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).
Nitish Kumar met with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, CPI-M secretary Sitaram Yechury, and D Raja of the Communist Party of India in this regard. He is also set to meet with Mamata Banerjee in the coming days.
On the other hand, Congress — which won 52 seats in the 2019 general elections — was the second-largest party in 209 seats. It fielded candidates on 421 out of 540 odd seats in the Lok Sabha and lost its deposit on 148 seats.
RJD and others believe that the party should focus on only 261 of those seats and let the alliance partners have the rest. Further, the regional parties should get preference in their respective states.
Nonetheless, getting all regional parties to agree to a singular formula would be an uphill task for the opposition before the elections.
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