Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh has announced that leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive (INDI) Alliance will convene in Delhi on 19 December for their fourth meeting.
This marks the bloc's first gathering in three months, following a pause in activities due to the Congress's focus on the five state assembly elections.
The meeting is set to be attended by Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Mamata Banerjee from Trinamool Congress, M K Stalin representing Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and many other leaders from 27 parties.
The primary agenda for this meeting is to initiate discussions on seat-sharing, as previously agreed upon during the bloc's last meetings in Mumbai on 31 August and 1 September.
Various Opposition parties have expressed concerns, both privately and publicly, stating that the delay in finalising the seat-sharing formula by the end of October is problematic. They argue that structuring the campaign without this formula poses challenges.
The Congress, facing setbacks in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, is in a comparatively weak negotiating position.
While alliances are in place in Tamil Nadu, Bihar, and Maharashtra, complications are anticipated in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, and West Bengal.
In West Bengal, both the Trinamool Congress and the Left are adamant about not allying, leaving the Congress in a dilemma.
In Delhi and Punjab, the Congress must negotiate with political opponents, such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The state unit in Punjab is reportedly resistant to any electoral understanding with the party that defeated them.
In Uttar Pradesh, following the snub in Madhya Pradesh, the dominant force, Samajwadi Party, is hesitant to allocate a significant space to the Congress.
Moreover, allies are discontent with the Congress for contesting the five-state assembly elections independently.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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