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    HomeNewsINDIA Bloc Fails to Materialize in Odisha as Alliance Talks Falter

    INDIA Bloc Fails to Materialize in Odisha as Alliance Talks Falter

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    Delhi, India: The much-anticipated INDIA bloc, led by the Congress party, has failed to materialize in Odisha as constituent parties have struggled to reach a formal seat-sharing agreement ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.

    Despite holding a 17-party meeting last October to devise a formal strategy, followed by subsequent discussions, the INDIA bloc members have been unable to unite. Initial plans for joint rallies across all 21 Lok Sabha constituencies have also fallen through.

    Consequently, parties like the Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and several smaller parties have opted to contest the elections independently.

    – The CPI plans to contest one Lok Sabha seat (Jagatsinghpur) and 11 Assembly seats.

    – The CPI(M) intends to contest one parliamentary seat (Bhubaneswar) and seven Assembly seats.

    – The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation has fielded candidates in the Koraput Parliamentary seat and five Assembly segments.

    – The AAP has announced its candidacy in 37 Assembly seats.

     Leaders from various parties, eager to form alliances with Congress, have criticized state Congress leaders for the failure of the INDIA bloc to materialize.

    Elections for the 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly seats in Odisha are scheduled in the last four phases on May 13, 20, 25, and June 1.

    While the Congress has informally conceded only one Assembly seat (Bonai under Sundargarh Lok Sabha constituency) to CPI(M), it is preparing for triangular contests in all Lok Sabha and Assembly seats against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Notably, the Congress has refrained from fielding candidates in the Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha seat, leaving it to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

    With Congress launching its campaign, there are concerns over its waning influence in the state. The party’s efforts are perceived as “too little and too late,” with concerns that it has been steadily losing ground to the BJP in recent elections. In 2019, significant portions of its support base shifted to the BJP, aiding the latter in securing numerous Lok Sabha and Assembly seats.

    An improved performance by Congress could potentially alter the electoral dynamics, impacting both BJP’s position as the principal opposition and BJD’s stronghold in the state. A strengthened Congress might lead to a more competitive triangular contest, ultimately favoring BJD’s electoral prospects.

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