Congress gives up 7 seats in favour of BSP-SP-RLD alliance
The Congress party is being pragmatic in its strategy in U.P. The grand old party realizes it does not have the grassroots network across the state and does not want to dilute the effort in dislodging the BJP. In keeping with this thought, the Congress today announced it would not contest in 7 seats where BSP-SP-RLD candidates are likely to contest.
The Hindustan Times reported Raj Babbar’s willingness to leaves seats in Kannauj, Mainpuri, and Faizabad where the BSP-SP-RLD candidates are likely to contest. He added that the Congress would make way for 7 seats the alliance chooses in the state. The move is expected to get reciprocal support in seats where the Congress believes it is strong.
BJP in Goa struggles to cope as CM Parrikar is critical
Ex-Goa CM Manohar Parrikar health remains critical, and the state BJP is struggling to stave off a challenge from the Congress which senses an opportunity to stake a claim to power in the state just before the elections. With 14 seats, the Congress has already written to the state governor Mridula Sinha staking their right to form the government since it is the party with maximum seats. The BJP is down to 13 seats in the state. With elections around the corner, the fluid situation does not augur well for the BJP in Goa.
NDA finalizes seat sharing agreement in Bihar; Tamil Nadu
JD(U) has managed to hold off pressure from the BJP for more seats in Bihar and has agreed to fight in 17 seats, leaving 17 seats for BJP and the remaining 6 seats with the LJP. With the seat-sharing formula sorted, party workers are hitting the road to reach out to maximum voters. The NDA will face a stiff challenge mounted by the RJD-Congress-HAM-RLSP alliance.
Meanwhile, the NDA has worked out the seat formula in Tamil Nadu. AIADMK will contest in 20 seats; PMK 7 seats; BJP 5 seats; DMDK 4 seats; TMC (Moopanar) 2 seats; NJP 1; NR Congress 1 (Puducherry).
BJP is contesting in Coimbatore, Sivaganga, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, and Ramanathapuram.
It ‘minorities’ advantage for TMC in Bengal
The minorities of West Bengal comprise 30% of the total population and are in the majority in many districts. They remain a much sought after vote bank by all parties. The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) is confident of once again garnering maximum votes from the community as it did in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The minorities of West Bengal have traditionally been supporting the Congress party since independence but began to shift towards the Left since the latter part of the 70s. Having ruled the state for 34 years, the Left came up against Mamata Banerjee who rallied the support of Muslims and other farmers making forced land acquisition the rallying point. Since then, she has been accused of minority appeasement by the BJP-RSS combine which has been making aggressive forays in the state.
While the Muslim community largely remains in support of the TMC, the recent spate of communal violence in certain pockets of the state hasn’t gone down well with some section within the community. Mamata Banerjee, however, remains confident of support.