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Congress-Trinamool Seat-Share Talks Face Hurdles

Congress-Trinamool Seat-Share Talks Face Hurdles

The Congress’s attempt to secure a seat-sharing deal with the Trinamool for the upcoming general election faces challenges. Trinamool, led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, appears unwilling to deviate from its initial offer despite Congress reducing its demand to five Lok Sabha seats. Trinamool maintains its stance, offering only two seats, citing Congress’s lack of representation in past elections. However, a Trinamool spokesperson indicates a possibility of consensus leading to an announcement soon.

Congress aims to contest three BJP-held seats in Bengal in addition to Berhampore and Malda (South), which it previously won. Trinamool’s reluctance poses a hurdle, particularly as Banerjee severed ties with Congress last month over what she perceived as unrealistic demands. Despite Congress’s efforts to reconcile, Banerjee’s firm stance remains unchanged.

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Simultaneously, Rahul Gandhi engages with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to resolve the deadlock over eight seats in Maharashtra. Congress strengthened its position with alliances formed with SP and AAP in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Seat-sharing remains contentious within the bloc, with Congress often conceding to allies’ terms due to its recent electoral setbacks. Sonia Gandhi emphasizes the need for a practical approach during discussions with the Samajwadi Party.

However, the bloc faces setbacks with the exit of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Jayant Chaudhary’s RLD, aligning with BJP in Bihar and western UP, respectively. With elections nearing, Congress is pressured to finalize seat-sharing agreements to avoid losing further ground. This urgency pushes Congress to accept a subordinate role in state-level alliances.

The struggle for equitable seat-sharing reflects the complex dynamics within the opposition bloc. Despite Congress’s efforts to negotiate, challenges persist due to Trinamool’s reluctance and the bloc’s internal dynamics. The outcome of these negotiations will significantly impact the opposition’s electoral prospects in the upcoming polls.

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