- Sputnik India, 1920
2024 Lok Sabha Elections
Get the latest news about the 2024 Lok Sabha election in India: candidates, election campaigns, latest opinion polls and more.

Experts Divided on I.N.D.I.A.'s 2024 Election Prospects

© AP Photo / Altaf QadriLeaders from the opposition INDIA alliance raise their hands together in a show of unity during a protest rally against the suspension of more than 140 lawmakers from parliament, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Dec. 22, 2023.
Leaders from the opposition INDIA alliance raise their hands together in a show of unity during a protest rally against the suspension of more than 140 lawmakers from parliament, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.03.2024
Despite the opposition's poll preparations appearing jittery, activities have gained momentum after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party announced the first list of Lok Sabha candidates.
The clock is ticking for India's 2024 Lok Sabha elections and all the political parties have stepped up their preparations. The federally-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its first list of candidates which includes the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh among others.
Meanwhile, the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A.) bloc has also started its preparations as some of the members have agreed on the seat-sharing formula with the Congress Party.
In February, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reached a consensus over seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, respectively.
However, the age-old party couldn’t reach an agreement with the West Bengal-ruling Trinamool Congress and further talks are being held in other states.
Apart from this, Congress has said that it will announce the first list of its candidates in 2-3 days while it will also bring out its manifesto for the polls.
According to top-placed sources from the party, Rahul Gandhi is likely to contest elections from Amethi and Wayanad, while his sister and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might make her poll debut from Raebareli.
Political experts shared their opinions about the preparations of the opposition bloc against the BJP with Sputnik India.

No Formidable Fight Despite Seat-Sharing Consensus

Sharing his views on the AAP-Congress and SP-Congress deals, political expert Shrikant Pandey told Sputnik India that the agreement over seat-sharing seems to be a compromise rather than a consensus.

“Congress had to compromise on a lot of seats. It was demanding more than 17 seats in Uttar Pradesh but the Samajwadi Party was adamant on not giving more. On the other hand, the party’s agreement with AAP in Delhi is not acceptable to most of its members itself and they have even shown their dissent,” Pandey said.

He further explained that in Punjab state, both the Congress and AAP have decided to go solo mainly because they don’t want the BJP to take the place of the main opposition party in the state.

“Voters of the country are smart enough to understand that in one state the same parties are in alliance while in another state they are contesting against each other. In such a situation, this won’t go well for the opposition bloc,” the political expert explained.

Meanwhile, another political expert Prem Kumar had a different opinion as he told Sputnik India that opposition members want to be in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc and this is why they have reached a consensus.
“If you see, after an agreement between AAP and Congress, there will be a formidable fight in Delhi, Haryana and even at Narendra Modi’s bastion Gujarat,” Kumar stated.
On seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh, the political analyst said that the alliance will be putting up a strong contest against BJP because the Muslim voters along with Dalit and Other Backward Class (OBC) voters, especially Yadavs, will go with the alliance.

“Muslims are not happy with the BJP as the party is not giving representation to their community in the elections by not giving tickets to Muslim candidates so they have returned back to the Congress fold while Yadavs have been core voters of the Samajwadi Party and will support the candidate who will be backed by it,” Kumar explained.

Who Is Playing Second Fiddle in Opposition Alliance?

Looking at the seat-sharing agreement in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, Congress seems to be unable to lead.
Talking about it, Pandey said that it is a compulsion for Congress to play second fiddle because the party is contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to save its existence as the biggest opposition party in the country.
“The main reason behind this is that Congress, which was once in a dominating position in various states, has failed to create foot soldiers and cadres in the party. This has weakened it a lot. In such a situation, the regional political parties have enough reasons to bargain with it,” he said.
Rejecting the opinion of Pandey, Kumar said that Congress' compromises have been done strategically.
“Congress can be seen strengthening only when it will perform well against BJP. Going by the current scenario, it seems to be doing well in Gujarat with the help of AAP, in Madhya Pradesh with the help of Samajwadi Party, in Maharashtra with the help of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) and in Bihar with the help of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD),” he stated.
He suggested that the strategy taken up by Congress will be effective because it may get more votes on a lesser number of seats rather get fewer votes on more seats.
Leaders from the opposition INDIA alliance attend a meeting in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 20.01.2024
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