21 Dec 2023

Lok Sabha polls-2024: Will AAP, Congress contest in Punjab alone? What will be their strategy in Delhi?

Eager to capitalize on its triumph in the state elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls-2024 in Punjab independently, without forming an alliance with the Congress, its current coalition partner in the India opposition bloc.

The AAP secured a resounding victory in Punjab's state polls, securing 92 out of 117 seats in the Assembly and surpassing the Congress, which only managed to secure 18 seats.

Cong is also inclined to contest LS polls in Punjab alone

Sources within the Opposition suggest that the Congress is also inclined to contest the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab without partnering with the AAP, aiming to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 elections. Punjab holds 13 Lok Sabha seats.

During a meeting of the Indian opposition bloc on Tuesday, leaders from 28 opposition parties agreed to finalize seat-sharing arrangements for the Lok Sabha polls by mid-January. This collaboration is aimed at collectively facing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in power at the center since 2014.

Kejriwal open to an alliance with Cong in Delhi

In Delhi, where the AAP secured a third consecutive term in 2020 with 62 out of 70 Assembly seats, party leader Arvind Kejriwal is open to an alliance with the Congress. According to sources, the AAP is willing to concede three out of the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital to the Congress.

The opposition believes that the Congress and the AAP stand a better chance of winning a majority of Lok Sabha seats in Delhi if they form a coalition, rather than competing independently in a triangular contest.

Discussion on seat-sharing in Punjab and Delhi likely after Dec 30

The discussion on seat-sharing in Punjab and Delhi is anticipated to take place after December 30, following Kejriwal's return from a Vipassana course.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had previously expressed confidence in the AAP winning all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state during a November event attended by Kejriwal. Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge remains hopeful that the issues in Delhi and Punjab will be resolved.

West Bengal, Kerala, Punjab, and Delhi are reported to be ongoing points of contention among members of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), as none of the stakeholders is willing to yield ground, according to sources. 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, the Congress secured eight seats, while the AAP won one, and the SAD-BJP alliance secured four. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the AAP won four seats, the Congress two, SAD four, and BJP two.

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