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Election 2024: NDA and INDIA alliance navigate complex political landscape in Uttar Pradesh

Election 2024: NDA and INDIA alliance navigate complex political landscape in Uttar Pradesh

| @indiablooms | 31 Jan 2024, 09:23 pm

Lucknow: On Tuesday, Opposition alliance INDIA suffered another setback after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav unilaterally announced candidates for 16 seats in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

This came after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to join NDA dealt a massive blow to the INDIA bloc, which had already failed to reach a seat-sharing arrangement in West Bengal and Punjab.

State Congress leaders believe that the Samajwadi Party (SP) is using 'pressure tactics' to compel it into a seat-sharing arrangement, rejecting Akhilesh Yadav’s assertion that the talks with Congress have been finalised.

An agreement was almost reached on the seat-sharing arrangement between the India Gathbandhan (I.N.D.I.A. Alliance), according to media reports. The Congress party got 11 seats in the Lok Sabha. Akhilesh Yadav stated in a post that a strong start had been made with Congress on 11 robust seats.

Before this, a deal was also made with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for 7 seats. Congress high command’s response is yet to come on SP’s declaration and it is unclear whether Congress is satisfied or dissatisfied with the allocation of 11 seats, as they were initially demanding 23 seats.

Amid the quickly changing political landscape, NDA as well as the INDIA alliance is making quick calculations to achieve the tricky coalition formula that would convert into votes in Uttar Pradesh.

Image Credit: Nitish Kumar X pageImage Credit: Nitish Kumar X page

Meanwhile, allying with Nitish Kumar in Bihar is expected to bolster the BJP-led coalition in Uttar Pradesh, given his substantial influence over the state's backward classes, including the Kurmis, in Purvanchal during the Lok Sabha elections.

Uttar Pradesh has 80 Lok Sabha seats. It should be noted that in the previous general elections, Congress received more than 8% of the votes on 19 seats in Uttar Pradesh. There has been a consistent decline in Congress' performance. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress secured 7.53% of the votes on two seats. In the previous Lok Sabha elections, Congress won one seat with 6.36% of the votes.

In 2017, despite successfully securing 100 seats from the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the assembly elections, Congress' performance remained poor.

According to media reports, the Congress may field candidates in Rae Bareli, Amethi, Pratapgarh, Varanasi, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Allahabad, Saharanpur, and Muradabad.

Image Credit: UNIImage Credit: UNI

Amid the developments, the Samajwadi Party is fast-tracking its decisions in a bid to secure its prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In the absence of a beneficial ally, Akhilesh Yadav’s main task will be to secure the maximum seats and improve his party’s position in Lok Sabha.

The Achilles heel for the united Opposition platform (I.N.D.I.A) lies in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP has the potential to enhance its electoral count.

Image Credit: UNIImage Credit: UNI

Almost a year ago, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started focusing on formulating a strategy to reclaim the seats it had lost in the 2019 elections—16 out of the 78 seats contested. The efforts also showed results when the BJP managed to secure two seats from the Samajwadi Party (SP) in two subsequent by-elections.

In 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 49.5 percent of the vote in Uttar Pradesh, leading the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to victory with 64 seats. Meanwhile, the Congress managed to secure only 6.3 percent of the vote, and only Sonia Gandhi won her seat from Rae Bareli. The Samajwadi Party (SP), which was then in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), clinched five seats. The BSP won 10 seats in that election, but since then, the party led by Mayawati has experienced a decline and is not currently part of any joint opposition strategy.

Experts believe that Nitish’s return to NDA has dispelled the fear of a potential decline in the Kurmi vote bank. As a result of the strategic realignment in Bihar, there is also hope for the party to gain an advantage in the Bhumihaar community's vote bank in Purvanchal.

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