Political parties that are part of I.N.D.I.A have scheduled their seat -sharing discussions within September, sources said. This comes against the backdrop of the fact that the alliance partners had earlier planned seat-sharing talks after November when most of the Assembly elections would have been over.
A source privy to the developments suggested that by the end of September, there will be clarity over seat-sharing. He said, “There may not be clarity on what seats a particular party will contest, but the alliance partners will mark out clearly as to how many seats a particular party will contest.”
The early resolution of the seat-sharing issue will also give time to alliance partners to resolve disputes in case of multiple candidates which will consequently help the parties deploy their election machinery with a clear agenda. A party insider said, “The focus of general elections would be Uttar Pradesh which constitutes 80 seats and has several powerful regional parties. Except western UP, the Samajwadi Party is strong within alliance partners, so their seat-sharing with Congress would comparatively be smooth. However, the problem could arise in western UP where the RLD is also a strong claimant. Also, the conflict in seat-sharing could arise in Punjab and Delhi where Congress’ state cadres have been resisting alliance with AAP.”
A source privy to the developments said that Nitish Kumar has conveyed to his inner circle about the early elections as he is wary that the elections may happen soon. “He doesn’t say things in air on such matters. He might be having strong inputs about it. And if that is anything to go by, all the planning of the Congress-led alliance will falter and they will have to rethink their strategy. They will also need to scramble to decide seat sharing as soon as possible,” the source said.
Aditya Rathi, a political analyst who tracks national political developments, said, “If the general elections are held early by the BJP, it will strike down all the tentative plans of the Congress-led alliance and they will have to make decisions in a hurry which they may not be prepared for. Plus, there are so many parties and for them to act cohesively will need very smooth communication and devotion towards the alliance which may be missing until all the required committees are made and channels of communication are planned.”