Highest number of intra-alliance fights for both camps in phase 7 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Highest number of intra-alliance fights for both camps in phase 7

Jun 01, 2024 07:58 AM IST

There are overall 92 candidates from INDIA in this phase, with intra-alliance conflicts in 29 of 57 PCs

The seventh and final phase of polling for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will take place today, June 1, across 57 PCs in seven states and the UT of Chandigarh. As has been the case in the previous six phases, the Congress-led Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will see more intra-alliance conflicts than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). However, compared to the previous phases, the intra-alliance conflicts for both NDA and INDIA will be the highest in this phase. While these conflicts are largely notional for the NDA, the intra-alliance conflicts are higher for INDIA compared to other phases because 22 of the 57 PCs voting today are in Punjab and West Bengal. These are two of the three big states (the third being Kerala), where the Congress did not strike a seat-sharing arrangement with dominant regional contenders. With candidates for all PCs now available, it is also now possible to analyse the overall picture of the two alliances now. Here is what it shows.

The seventh and final phase of polling for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will take place today, June 1, across 57 PCs in seven states and the UT of Chandigarh
The seventh and final phase of polling for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will take place today, June 1, across 57 PCs in seven states and the UT of Chandigarh

What is the NDA arithmetic in this phase?

Of the 57 PCs in this phase, the BJP is contesting 51. The party has a formal seat sharing arrangement with the Apna Dal (Soneylal) or ADS and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) on two and one PCs in Uttar Pradesh; and with the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) and the Rashtriya Lok Morcha (RLM) on two and one seats in Bihar. However, its allies – Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSPS), Republican Party of India (Athawale) or RPI(A), and the AJSU Party (AJSUP) – are also contesting seven PCs. This makes the share of seats with intra-alliance conflicts in this phase higher than all previous phases. However, these conflicts are all largely notional.

What is the overall NDA arithmetic?

With a self-imposed target of winning 370 seats, the BJP is contesting 441 of India’s 543 PCs by itself, the highest since 1996, when it contested 471. Its biggest allies are all contesting under 20 PCs. The five biggest of them are the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Janata Dal (United), the Shiv Sena, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), and the Lok Janshakti Party(Ram Vilas). These parties are contesting 17, 16, 15, 10, and five PCs; in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar, respectively. However, two NDA allies have fielded candidates in a comparable number of PCs without a formal seat-sharing arrangement in most of them. These allies -- RSPS and the RPI(A) -- are contesting 18 and 10 PCs, with the RSPS having an arrangement with BJP on one PC (Parbhani in Maharashtra).

Highest number of intra-alliance fights for both camps in phase 7
Highest number of intra-alliance fights for both camps in phase 7

What is the INDIA arithmetic in this phase?

The Congress is contesting 31 of the 57 PCs in this phase. The party has a state-wise seat sharing arrangement with the Samajwadi Party (SP) on nine PCs in Uttar Pradesh; with the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPIM on one, one, and six PCs in West Bengal; with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation) or CPI-ML and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on three PCs each in Bihar; and with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on three PCs in Jharkhand.

However, there are overall 92 candidates from INDIA in this phase, with intra-alliance conflicts in 29 of 57 PCs. This brings the proportion of PCs with intra-alliance conflict in this phase to 50.9% for the group, the highest in any phase so far. To be sure, this number was similar (50.5%) in the fourth phase. However, serious intra-alliance conflicts in the fourth phase were only in nine of the 48 PCs with conflicts. This is not the case in this phase. Of the 29 PCs with intra-alliance conflicts for the INDIA group in this phase, 22 are in Punjab and West Bengal. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are almost equal contenders in 13 PCs in Punjab, given the Congress won the most seats in the state in the last Lok Sabha election and AAP won the last state election. The Congress-Left alliance and the TMC are similarly bitter rivals in West Bengal, although the former has ceded ground to the BJP in recent elections.

What is the INDIA arithmetic overall?

After winning less than 100 seats in the past two Lok Sabha elections, its worst performance in any Lok Sabha election, the Congress is contesting the fewest number of PCs it has ever contested: 328. The five biggest contestants of the INDIA group other than Congress are the SP, the CPIM, the TMC, the AIFB, and the CPI. These five parties are contesting 234 PCs. As is obvious from these two numbers, the INDIA group is far from coherent, despite the Congress ceding the most ground since 2004, when it contested 417 seats. There is a conflict between INDIA members on 178 PCs overall, although major conflicts are limited to the 75 PCs in West Bengal, Kerala, and Punjab.

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