Congress facing troubles in seat-sharing

Mohali: Congress President Rahul Gandhi and party leaders Manmohan Singh and Motilal Vora at the re-launch of ‘Navjivan’ – a Commemorative Publication to mark the 150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi, in Punjab’s Mohali on Dec 10, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Congress is facing dissensions in several states ahead of Lok Sabha elections and is yet to firm up alliances in crucial states like Bihar even as the first phase of Lok Sabha elections is less than a month away.

The dissensions are coming in the way of party’s efforts to build a narrative against the BJP-led govenrment.

Tom Vadakkan, a well-known party leader, who has been a loyalist of Nehru-Gandhi family and handled the party’s media department when Sonia Gandhi was the party chief, joined the BJP on Thursday.

In Maharashtra, Sujay Vikhe-Patil, son of leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, has also joined the BJP.

Madan Bhosale, a former MLA and son of former Pradesh Congress Committee chief Prataprao Bhosale, joined the saffron party some days ago.

In Gujarat, three Congress MLAs – Vallabh Dharaviya, Purshottam Sabariya, Jawahar Chavda – joined the BJP ahead of crucial meeting of Congress Working Committee in Ahmedabad earlier this week.

In Karnataka, where Congress has been facing internal troubles, one of its MLAs Umesh Jadhav has joined the BJP.

The Congress has not been able to firm up a ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) in Bihar amid reports of differences with Rashtriya Janata Dal over seat-sharing. Voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections is due on April 11.

NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s sudden decision not to contest elections is also being interpreted in terms of the prospects of the NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra.

Congress has had talks with the NCP on sharing seats, but the alliance has not been able to accommodate some other significant players. Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and Swabhimani Paksha of Raju Shetty are likely to contest separately causing a division in opposition votes.

The Congress appears to be in a dilemma over AAP’s keenness for a tie-up in Delhi to take on the BJP. The party has been ruling out a tie-up but its leaders are still seeking feedback from party workers if they should go for seat sharing.

The party also faces a tough task in Uttar Pradesh where it is out of the opposition alliance of Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal.

Congress is in talks with National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir, but there has not been any formal announcement of the alliance.

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