After Mumbai Meeting, 'INDIA' Coalition Discusses Six Categories of Arrangements for Upcoming Elections

After Mumbai Meeting, 'INDIA' Coalition Discusses Six Categories of Arrangements for Upcoming Elections

New Delhi - Following the conclusion of the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) coalition meeting in Mumbai on September 1, opposition parties announced their intention to collaborate "as far as possible" based on the principle of "mutual give and take." The parties have also committed to initiating seat-sharing discussions promptly.

The extent of cooperation between the INDIA coalition parties has led to the classification of Indian states and Union Territories into six categories. Notably, the fourth, fifth, and sixth categories present significant challenges for the INDIA coalition in terms of seat-sharing.

1. States Where Alliances Are Established, and Seat Sharing Is Settled (54 Seats): This category includes Jharkhand (14 seats), Tamil Nadu (39 seats), and Puducherry, where INDIA coalition constituents previously contested together in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2019/2021 Assembly elections.

2. States Where Congress Is the Primary Challenger to BJP (131 Seats): Several states, such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh, fall into this category. Additionally, states like Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, and the Union Territory Ladakh have Congress as the main contender against the BJP, despite the presence of smaller regional parties.

3. States Where 'Non-INDIA' Regional Parties Are Significant (66 Seats): This category includes Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim. In most of these states, dominant regional parties have either formal or informal alliances with the BJP, making it challenging for the INDIA coalition to make significant inroads unless these parties switch allegiance.

4. States Where Alliances Are Established, but Seat-Sharing Remains Undecided (96 Seats): This category encompasses Bihar, Maharashtra, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Although the UPA contested as an alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2020 Assembly elections, changes in seat-sharing formulas are necessary due to the involvement of Janata Dal-United and Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray. The same applies to Jammu and Kashmir, where seat-sharing among the National Conference, People's Democratic Party, and Congress needs to be determined. Additionally, Tripura requires a seat-sharing arrangement between the Left and Congress.

5. States Where Alliances Are Absent but Required (120 Seats): This category presents complex scenarios for the INDIA coalition, where collaboration is essential. These states include Uttar Pradesh (Samajwadi Party, Congress, and Rashtriya Lok Dal), Gujarat, Delhi, and Chandigarh (Congress and Aam Aadmi Party), Meghalaya (Congress and Trinamool Congress), and Manipur (Congress, JD-U, and Left).

6. States Where Friendly Contests May Be the Only Option (76 Seats): These are states where INDIA coalition partners directly compete with each other. Pre-poll alliances may not be practical and could even work against the coalition's objectives. States in this category include Kerala, Punjab, and West Bengal, where the TMC, Left, and Congress face unique dynamics and challenges.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of the "give and take" principle promised by the coalition partners will be put to the test in the most complicated category—states where alliances are absent but needed to counter the BJP's influence.

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