INDIA bloc leaders to meet virtually tomorrow; discuss convener's name, seat-sharing dynamics | Mint – Mint

The leaders of the INDIA bloc are scheduled to attend a virtual meeting at 11:30 AM on 13 January. The leaders of the Opposition alliance will likely take up contentious issues like the name of the convenor of the alliance and the seat-sharing dynamics. The development comes as disagreements are cropping up amongst the INDIA alliance parties over seat-sharing arrangements for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
The regional parties in the INDIA bloc are asserting their dominance within their state and not allowing much room to Congress in the seat-sharing talks. In states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, the regional parties are pointing out Congress failures and don’t seem to be ready for compromise on their seats.
As per a report by news platform TheIndianExpress, Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in West Bengal offered just two seats to Congress- Malda Dakshin and Baharampur, which the party already represents. The report claimed that TMC may skip meeting with a 5-member team of Congress, which is holding talks with INDIA parties on seat-sharing arrangements.
Similar is the case in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where the Samajwadi party and the JD(U)-RJD alliance are not conceding much space for the Congress party. As the heat around the issue grows, the local Congress leaders are also attacking their alliance partners in the state, making matters worse for the INDIA bloc.

Congress likely to fight on 255 seats

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge recently said that the party will focus on 255 Lok Sabha seats. In case, the party chooses to fight for just 255 seats, that will be the lowest for Congress since Independence. This will surpass the previous low of 417 seats, which Congress fought in the 2004 general elections.
The sources reveal that the Congress’s decision to fight on 255 seats is for the benefit of the INDIA alliance and the grand old party is ready to compromise on its position. The decision comes as the party is looking to recover from two straight worse performances as it won 9.48% of the seats contested in 2014 and 12.35% of the seats contested in 2019.
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