Oppn bloc hopes to finalise seat sharing by month-end | India News

NEW DELHI: The INDIA bloc is aiming to resolve the bulk of the seat-sharing talks by the end of this month even as it realises the problems that await in states like Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.
According to sources, the exercise is already underway and the parties hope to get a substantial part of the negotiations done by September 30. “At best, we will complete the exercise within a month from now,” a source said.
The basic formula being followed for the state-wise seat-sharing deal is to look at either the last assembly poll results or the last parliamentary poll results. Another option is to look at both the last assembly and Lok Sabha trends. “It has been decided that the strongest party in each state will drive the seat-sharing talks,” a well-placed source said.
Following that formula, sources said, seat-sharing has been almost completed in Jammu and Kashmir, (between National Conference, PDP and Congress), Maharashtra (between Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP and Congress), Bihar (between RJD, JD-U, Congress, CPI-ML) and Tamil Nadu (DMK, Congress and others).
There are around 100 seats where Congress and BJP are the main contenders, so there is no seat-sharing to be discussed, sources said, adding that AAP and Congress will have to work out a deal on 20 seats in Delhi and Punjab.
The difficult exercise of working out an understanding over the 42 seats in West Bengal will begin as soon as Mamata Banerjee returns from her Europe trip next week, sources said.
In Bengal, TMC will have to withdraw from a few seats if it has to accommodate Congress but will not be keen on any adjustment with the CPM-led Left Front. While the Left and Congress are both part of the INDIA group at the national level, the two have an alliance in the state and are seen as bitter rivals of TMC.

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