Cong AAP tie-up aims to put up tough fight in Guj

Ahmedabad: The Congress-Aam Aadmi Party tie-up in Gujarat is hoping to challenge the electoral hegemony of the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, while the ruling party is confident the opposition alliance will not affect its prospects. The Congress-AAP alliance this time aims to give a tough fight and stop the division of anti-BJP votes.

In the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won all 26 seats parliamentary seats in Gujarat, which is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, garnering more than 60 per cent of the vote share in both the elections.

In the 2022 Gujarat assembly elections, the Congress and the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP contested separately, resulting in the division of opposition votes and leading the BJP to a huge win by bagging 156 out of the 182 seats in the state.

The BJP received around 51 per cent of the votes, the Congress secured 27.5 per cent votes and 17 seats, while the AAP got around 13 per cent votes and five seats.

A senior state Congress leader admitted that they lost in more than 40 assembly seats due to the division of votes between the grand old party and the AAP.

Notably, four Congress MLAs and one AAP legislator in the state have resigned in the last four months.

All 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will witness polling in a single phase on May 7 and votes will be counted on June 4.

Under the seat-sharing agreement, the Congress will contest 24 seats while the AAP will field its candidates in two seats – Bharuch and Bhavnagar.

“We are confident that after 10 years of the BJP’s misrule in Gujarat, people will give a chance to other parties,” state AAP leader Manoj Sorathiya said.

AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a recent visit to Vadodara appealed to the people to give a chance to his party’s two candidates this time.

“The MPs you send from here are not able to take up any of your issues as they are from the ruling party, they just go to Delhi (Parliament) Lok Sabha but cannot raise your issues. Give one chance to the AAP candidates and there won’t be a day when the issues of Gujarat are not raised in Delhi,” Kejriwal had said addressing a meeting

The Gujarat Congress is also optimistic about the tie-up with AAP.

“The alliance will stop the division of anti-BJP votes. All of us are aware that the Congress lost in more than 40 seats in the 2022 state assembly elections due to the division of votes between the AAP and Congress,” Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.

“The alliance will be able to give a tough fight to the ruling party from Gujarat. Gujarat is a very important state,” he said.

The BJP, however, expressed confidence that the opposition alliance will not affect the party’s poll prospects in the state.

Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil has said the Congress-AAP alliance will not affect his party’s prospects as the percentage of votes it has been getting in the last few elections is more than 50 per cent.

Political experts feel the Congress-AAP alliance will definitely stop the division of votes, but will fall short of challenging the BJP in the home state of PM Modi.

“The alliance will help the opposition in consolidating the anti-BJP votes. The anti-BJP votes will go to the opposition INDIA alliance for sure due to the coming together of the two parties, unlike what happened in the last assembly elections,” Rajkot-based political analyst Dr Suresh Samani said.

“However, the Modi factor is paramount in the state. This is the prime minister’s home state. It seems the (Congress-AAP) alliance will not be able to challenge dominance of the BJP which has been securing more than 60 per cent votes in the last two Lok Sabha polls,” Samani added.

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