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INDIA alliance in UP: Of 17 seats Congress got, it had lost deposits on 12 in 2019 polls

New Delhi, Feb 22, 2024
After weeks of hard bargaining and long parleys, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress reached a deal in Uttar Pradesh to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections together. This has enthused the grassroots workers and gave an impetus to INDIA bloc’s prospects in the northern state, which sends largest numbers of lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.

Out of total 80 seats, Akhilesh Yadav-led SP allotted 17 seats to the grand old party and one to Chandrashekhar Azad’s party. The SP will field candidates on rest of the 62 seats.

The poll alliance between the two parties revives the memory of 2017 Assembly elections, when the “two boys” (Akhilesh Yadav and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi) joined hands to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The alliance stitched for 2024 Lok Sabha elections looks more out of compulsion rather than a well-thought strategy to take on the might of BJP.

A brief analysis of election figures show that the 17 seats of Congress are those, where it fared poorly in 2019 general elections. In 12 seats, the party even lost deposits and on one seat i.e. Bansgaon, it did not even field its candidate in 2019 elections.

In 2019 elections, the Congress contested on a total of 67 seats but lost deposits in about 63 seats, besides the humiliating defeat that it had to face in its pocket borough Amethi.

In 2024 polls, the seats where Congress will contest include Rae Bareli, Amethi, Kanpur, Fatehpur Sikri, Bansgaon, Saharanpur, Prayagraj, Maharajgandj, Varansi, Amroha, Jhnasi, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Sitapur, Barabanki and Deoria.

Of the 17 seats, Varanasi is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency while Congress does not have much to expect from its stronghold Amethi, owing to its “ignorance” and “lack of attention”.

The seat-sharing agreement between the two parties will indeed give impetus and strength to the INDIA alliance, however, the past electoral records do not offer much hope.

The INDIA bloc had already suffered many blows in the run-up to Parliamentary elections with many regional satraps declaring to go solo.

The poll alliance between two parties wavered for quite some time, before finally getting clinched on Wednesday.

AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi reportedly played the ice-breaker and helped seal the deal, else the turbulence in seat-sharing talks had reached a “point of no return”.(Agency)

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