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Consensus dilemma: Congress, TMC, JD(U) lock horns in INDIA bloc ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Gopal Mandal, a leader from Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), reiterated his party's stance, advocating for Nitish Kumar as the potential Prime Ministerial candidate, asserting Kumar's role in forming the INDIA alliance.

Consensus dilemma: Congress, TMC, JD(U) lock horns in INDIA bloc ahead of Lok Sabha polls AJR
Author
First Published Jan 9, 2024, 1:22 PM IST

In the lead-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, the INDIA bloc, spearheaded by the Congress party, encounters escalating turbulence in its negotiations over seat allocations among regional allies. As discussions unfold, disputes emerge, adding layers of complexity to the process across pivotal states such as West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.

Notably, the Janata Dal (United) from Bihar has voiced staunch demands for 16 seats in the state, following the Trinamool Congress and the Shiv Sena (UBT) in asserting their claims.

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Gopal Mandal, a leader from Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), reiterated his party's stance, advocating for Nitish Kumar as the potential Prime Ministerial candidate, asserting Kumar's role in forming the INDIA alliance. He openly questioned the prominence of Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge in comparison to Nitish Kumar's national recognition.

This isn't the first instance of Mandal's dismissive remarks toward Kharge; earlier, he had referred to Kharge as "Kharge-Farge," casting doubts on Kharge's acceptance by the public.

Echoing Mandal's sentiments, JD-U leader KC Tyagi emphasized their commitment to not compromise on the 16 seats they had won previously, suggesting their ability to counter the BJP in Bihar.

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The discord over seat allocation isn't limited to Bihar; in West Bengal, friction arose between Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee and Congress's Adhir Chowdhury regarding the number of seats allotted to Congress. Banerjee's offer of two seats, a number contested by Congress as the seats they had won, hinted at the possibility of TMC contesting solo in the upcoming elections.

Reports indicate that Congress is pushing for 10 seats, encompassing the two they secured in the 2019 polls. In the previous elections, Trinamool won 22 seats, Congress secured two, and BJP acquired 18, setting the stage for intense negotiations and potential shifts in alliances.

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