Lok Sabha elections: Congress contests fewer seats than ever, hopes less is more | India News – Times of India

 Lok Sabha elections: Congress contests fewer seats than ever, hopes less is more | India News - Times of India

A reboot of an old classicYear of the Bee‘, Congress Preparing Top Competing on its lowest ever seats Lok Sabha Elections. In announcing its battle plan on Monday, the grand old party drew parallels with 2004, when it narrowed the electoral contest in favor of allies and to oust the BJP-led NDA. had moved on. Hopefully this story will repeat itself 20 years from now.
In the 2024 elections, Congress will contest around 330 seats. This is a significant drop from 2004, when it contested 417 seats, the lowest ever. AICC spokesman Jairam Ramesh said his fight card has been squeezed this time to accommodate. India Block Partners in Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The party is not contesting as many seats in these states as it used to in the past due to alliances with the NCP-Shiv Sena, the Left and the Samajwadi Party.
“Mark my words, the situation in 2004 is the same as in 2024. We have deliberately chosen fewer seats in these three states because we wanted to build a strong and effective alliance. In these elections, the Congress and India Bloc have a clear edge. There will be a decision. We will not need any new parties and the NDA flip floppers will not have to eat again,” said Ramesh. He added that this would help all the regional parties in the North East There will also be a basis for backing JP and Congress.
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Apart from the Congress’ claim, the sharp decline in the number of seats the party contested is a direct result of its political marginalization after 2014 and the rise of the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi. In the last 10 years, Congress has seen its nose of victory in states like UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, which account for more than 40% of the total Lok Sabha seats.
Declining fortunes have forced the Congress to choose allies for modest returns. The party’s key parties leaving power in Maharashtra and its failure to corner the seats it wanted in Bihar indicate its weak bargaining chip. The period has also been marked by the emergence of new regional parties and the strengthening of old local organizations, which has further narrowed its electability vis-à-vis the BJP. For example, the Congress is contesting 23 seats in Andhra Pradesh, leaving one each for the CPM and the CPI.
But this number is imaginary as the Congress has no chance in a state where the TDP and the ruling YSRCP are the main players. Despite pressure from within, the Congress could not find an ally.
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Even a few months ago, the Congress was optimistic about how many seats it would contest at the national level. It had postponed seat-sharing talks with India Bloc partners for the November 2023 assembly elections in MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana. Party strategists had hoped that its expected good showing in the state polls – where it was in direct competition with the BJP – would increase its bargaining power and position it for more seats with allies. Will allow bargaining.
However, this was not to be. Congress’ defeat in northern states weakened its position with allies like RJD, NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT), SP, Left etc., leaving it with less to contend with in Bihar, Maharashtra, UP and Bengal. Get the seats. The party also had to join hands with AAP in Delhi, Gujarat and Haryana.
The Congress, however, believes that joining hands with allies — which it believes may not be an alliance with the BJP — has helped maximize its chances against the saffron brigade. “We have made a very deliberate sacrifice. Because this is a very critical election, not only for the opposition but for the country,” said a senior official.
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