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Cong set to make a deal with AAP; Trinamool still adamant

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: February 24, 2024 00:22 IST
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The Congress is hopeful of soon finalising the Lok Sabha poll seat-sharing arrangements with the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) allies Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress, sources said on Friday, days after the principal opposition party arrived at an understanding with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh.

IMAGE: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shakes hands with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, during a meet in Bengaluru on July 18, 2023. Photograph: Shrikant Singh/ANI Photo

Sources said while the talks with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP have almost been concluded, discussions are still underway with the Mamata Banerjee's TMC.

The sources expressed hope the leadership would work out a solution soon accommodating the expectations of all parties.


However, later in the day TMC leader Derek O'Brien said there has been 'no change' in the party's stand of contesting all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, a few in Assam and one seat in Meghalaya.

O'Brien, the TMC leader in the Rajya Sabha, said, "A few weeks ago...West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that TMC is fighting all the 42 seats in Bengal. We are also in the fray in a few seats in Assam and the Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya. There is no change in this position."

The TMC, which is the ruling party in West Bengal, has sought two seats in Assam and one in Meghalaya, which are being discussed, the sources had said.

Although, a senior leader said the Congress is not keen to give away the Meghalaya seat. There are 14 seats in Assam and two in Meghalaya.

As for the understanding with the AAP, the talks between the two parties are almost over with the AAP contesting four seats in Delhi and the Congress three.

However, the sources said the AAP has also sought one seat in Haryana and two in Gujarat which included Bharuch, where the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel hailed from.

The AAP has already declared Chaitar Vasava as its candidate on the seat.

The sources, however, said Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have put his foot down on the seat considering the party is 'emotionally attached' to due it being Patel's home turf.

Patel's son and daughter are seeking a ticket from Bharuch and talks are being held with the AAP leadership to agree to another seat.

Patel's son Faisal, who is a contender for the seat, said in a post on X, 'Honorable Shri Rahul Gandhi Ji, you listened to me and the Bharuch Congress workers.'

'By supporting us, I and my fellow Bharuch Congress workers have been honored. I promise you that I will live up to your faith by winning the Bharuch Lok Sabha,' he said indicating that the Bharuch seat would remain with the Congress.

INDIA bloc parties are together and will fight the polls in alliance, the sources said.

A senior party leader also said that seat-sharing talks in Maharashtra are over after top party leadership held discussions with leaders of Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar in the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

The sources said a formal announcement is delayed because of seats to be given to Prakash Amvedkar's party.

Meanwhile, AAP leaders also said certain new developments are delaying an official seat-sharing announcement with the Congress.

The sources claimed the Congress has expressed willingness to contest North East, Chandni Chowk and North West Delhi seats.

Earlier, an agreement was reached that the Congress will contest East, North East and Chandni Chowk seats.

Udit Raj won from North West Delhi Lok Sabha seat as a BJP candidate in 2014 polls.

He quit the BJP and joined the Congress after being denied a ticket in 2019.

All the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi including North West Delhi were currently held by the BJP.

Raj is considered as a front runner probable of the Congress from the seat.

Earlier in the day, AAP general secretary (organisation) Sandeep Pathak in a press conference said that the talks between the two parties are in the 'final stages'.

Announcements for all the states will be made simultaneously, hopefully 'very soon', he said.

Pathak sought to play down the development related to Bharuch seat, saying 'its not a big deal'.

Faisal on Thursday said that if Bharuch Lok Sabha seat went to the AAP, he and other 'conscientious' Congress workers will not support its candidate.

Pathak said, "We will settle the issue mutually. In an alliance such situations and statements come up. We will address it maturely."

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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