After Congress' losses in the assembly elections of three states, regional parties within the INDI Alliance are trying to leverage this situation for themselves in the seat-sharing discussions.
The principal opposition party in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party (SP), has hinted in succinct terms that not only the responsibility of seat distribution will rest with party chief Akhilesh Yadav but also that they are not inclined to allocate Congress more than two seats in the upcoming general elections.
In a conversation with News18, SP spokesperson Fakhrul Hasan Chaand stated that given the political landscape in Uttar Pradesh, Congress only deserves two Lok Sabha seats.
He mentioned that the Congress suffered defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh due to its misguided decisions, weakening the unity of the INDI Alliance. Hasan pointed out that this is the reason why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now eager to hold elections ahead of schedule.
Fakhrul Hasan expressed that granting more seats would inadvertently assist the BJP and for defeating the BJP, Congress should align itself with the SP.
It is noteworthy that in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, the Samajwadi Party had demanded six to seven seats under the INDI Alliance. However, the Congress denied it saying the alliance was solely for the Lok Sabha elections. Subsequently, there was a verbal skirmish between the Congress and the SP.
The two seats that the SP spokesperson talked about could be Amethi and Rae Bareli. During the 2019 elections also, when SP-BSP contested in alliance, they didn't field their candidates in these two seats.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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