With three meetings of the I.N.D.I.A bloc already been conducted out of the planned eight, the Congress has sought 30 seats out of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. However, the decision over seat distribution hasn’t taken place yet. Party insiders suggest the negotiations will take place after which the proportionate seat share will be allotted to each party in the alliance.
However, giving away a huge chunk of seats to Congress is thought of by Akhilesh Yadav to be a mistake which will eventually reduce their party’s impetus. The ceding of seats will break the party’s internal momentum as well. For, many of the ticket aspirants within the party will have to manage without getting tickets.
Also, it is widely known among the Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders that SP chief may not be in a mood to give away more of the territories which are politically fertile for him. The party has worked, an SP leader said, more than any other opposition camp in a hope that the SP will be in a continuous flux of growth. Yet, political observers are confident that the alliance will be worked out by both the parties. Not because they want to, but because if they don’t, they will both fall headway as the BJP in that case will sweep the elections. A political observer said, “They are wary of the consequences if the alliance doesn’t go right. They know it in heart of hearts that this alliance is important for both the parties so that would come down to the negotiating table and settle the issue of seat sharing.”
Party insiders in Congress also echo the claim of settling the issue one way or the other. A party insider said, “There are 5 seats bordering Madhya Pradesh where there are Yadavs, maybe Congress will want to give them seats in that belt and settle the issue.”
There is also a sentiment within SP’s top leadership that the Samajwadi Party boss cannot backtrack from the alliance as he has already committed himself to it and would be bound to comply by its decisions. Earlier, it was thought by Akhilesh Yadav that he might be the figurehead in deciding the seat sharing formulae in the state. However, it is heard that he may have been surprised to see that the seat-sharing declaration will be coming from the I.N.D.I.A bloc, side-lining his plans for the alliance in the state.
It is notable to mention that Jayant Chaudhary had already conveyed to his inner circle that the Congress will play a significant role in major decisions including the seat sharing. A leader quoting Jayant Chaudhary said, “Since the Congress is a national party and the biggest party in the bloc, it will play a major role in seat sharing.”
Incidentally, BSP chief Mayawati also seems to have kept the channels of communication open as there is news within political circles that she has lowered her expectations and is seeking just 30 seats. However, SP leaders say that wouldn’t be possible as there are other major players onboard.
It is noteworthy to mention that if the BSP and Congress’ expectations are clubbed (30+30 seats), it would marginalise the largest Opposition party in UP with only 20 seats left for them, where they would have to adjust RLD as well. With such demands, SP chief would not even want to sit on the negotiating table. Long back, he had stated that this Lok Sabha election is not their battle and for it they would not lose their electoral territories. A Samajwadi Party spokesperson said, “If Mayawati comes onboard with Congress, there is a possibility that the grand old party can leave us and join hands with BSP and divide the seats equally (40/40) among themselves.”
Party insiders suggest that the Samajwadi Party chief will take every decision by keeping the 2027 Assembly elections in view. And any threat to his political prospects in the next Assembly elections will be dealt with sternly, even if the harsh decisions are needed in the alliance. However, the leaders from both the parties are sure that a consensus will be reached and the final agreement will be accepted. An analyst said, “ Samajwadi Party voters will remain with the party and there is no threat to Akhilesh Yadav’s voter base, because the Congress doesn’t have cadre there. If Samajwadi Party is worried about its drifting voter base, it is just for the sake of having leverage in alliance.”