Decoding the diverging INDIA, NDA alliance equations in latest phase | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Decoding the diverging INDIA, NDA alliance equations in latest phase

May 25, 2024 04:31 AM IST

The single biggest source of intra-alliance conflicts for INDIA bloc is the lack of a formal seat-sharing deal.

A total of 58 parliamentary constituencies (PCs) are going to the polls on Saturday in the penultimate phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election. As has been the case in the five preceding phases, the Congress-led Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is again set to witness more intra-alliance conflicts than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The single biggest source of intra-alliance conflicts for the INDIA bloc is the lack of a formal seat-sharing arrangement between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the local alliance of the Communist parties and the Congress. Here is how the NDA and INDIA alliances look like in this phase.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Phulpur on May 19.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Phulpur on May 19.

A total of 58 parliamentary constituencies (PCs) are going to the polls on Saturday in the penultimate phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election.
A total of 58 parliamentary constituencies (PCs) are going to the polls on Saturday in the penultimate phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha election.

Who are the NDA constituents in this phase?

Five NDA parties are contesting the sixth phase of elections: the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal United or JD(U), the All Jharkhand Student Union (AJSU), the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) or LJP-Ram Vilas, and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSPS). These parties have fielded 51, four, two, one, and four candidates respectively.

Who is contributing to the intra-alliance conflicts in the NDA?

With 62 candidates fielded in 57 PCs – no NDA party has fielded a candidate in the Anantnag-Rajouri PC in Jammu & Kashmir – there are intra-alliance conflicts in five PCs. This is because the AJSU and the RSPS have fielded their candidates in addition to the formal NDA candidate in one and four PCs respectively. The AJSU has fielded a candidate in Keonjhar PC in Odisha, which the BJP is also contesting. The RSPS has fielded one candidate in Bihar (where the formal NDA candidate is from the LJP-Ram Vilas), one in Uttar Pradesh (where the formal NDA candidate is from the BJP), and two in Delhi (where the formal NDA candidate is from the BJP).

To be sure, these intra-alliance conflicts may not make the NDA vulnerable unless the contest with INDIA parties becomes closer in 2024 than in 2019. This is because the NDA won three of these five PCs in 2019 with a comfortable margin of more than 20% and another one with a four percent margin. It had only lost the Keonjhar PC in Odisha to the BJD.

Who are the constituents of INDIA?

Fourteen INDIA parties are contesting this phase of elections. The Congress is contesting the most number of PCs (25 PCs) in this group, but this is half the proportion the BJP is contesting in the NDA. The other big INDIA contestants in this phase are the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is contesting 12 PCs; and the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), which is contesting 9 PCs. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) are contesting five and four PCs respectively. Among the left parties, the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPIM) and Communist Party of India are contesting six, five, and three PCs. The remaining parties are contesting on less than three PCs each.

Who is contributing to the intra-alliance conflicts in the INDIA bloc?

INDIA members failed to reach a seat-sharing agreement in West Bengal. The TMC and the CPI-CPI(M)- Congress alliance have, therefore, fielded candidates against each other in each phase so far. This is also the single biggest source of intra-alliance conflict in the sixth phase. West Bengal is contributing eight of 17 PCs where there are intra-alliance conflicts in the INDIA bloc. Of the remaining nine such PCs, three are in Uttar Pradesh, two in Delhi, and one each in Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Apart from the conflict between the TMC and the CPI-CPI(M)-Congress alliance, the biggest contributor to intra-alliance conflict is the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB). The AlFB has fielded six candidates in the sixth phase, all in PCs where the performance of other INDIA members has been better historically. It has fielded two candidates in Delhi PCs that the AAP is also contesting; two in Uttar Pradesh that the SP is also contesting; and one each in West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir, where there are already multiple INDIA members contesting. To be sure, other parties have also contributed to intra-alliance conflicts, but in only one PC each.

While most of these intra-alliance conflicts are notional even in the INDIA bloc, such conflicts may be of more importance in the INDIA bloc than in the NDA. The 2019 results can be compared for 16 of 17 the PCs (all except Jammu & Kashmir) where there are such conflicts. The BJP won 12 of these 16 PCs in 2019, while the TMC and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won three and one respectively.

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