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Cong hopeful of finalising seat-sharing with TMC, AAP soon

Patel's son and daughter are seeking a ticket from Bharuch and talks are being held with the AAP leadership to agree to another seat

Cong hopeful of finalising seat-sharing with TMC, AAP soon

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

NEW DELHI: The Congress is hopeful of soon finalising the Lok Sabha poll seat-sharing arrangements with INDIA bloc allies AAP and TMC, sources said on Friday, days after the principal opposition party arrived at an understanding with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh.

Sources said while the talks with the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP have almost been concluded, discussions are still underway with the Mamata Banerjee's TMC. The sources expressed hope the leadership would work out a solution soon accommodating the expectations of all parties.

The TMC, which is the ruling party in West Bengal, has sought two seats in Assam and one in Meghalaya, which are being discussed. But a senior leader said the Congress is not keen to give away the Meghalaya seat. There are 14 seats in Assam and two in Meghalaya.

As for the understanding with the AAP, the talks between the two parties are almost over with the AAP contesting four seats in Delhi and the Congress three.

However, the sources said the AAP has also sought one seat in Haryana and two in Gujarat which included Bharuch, where the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel hailed from. The AAP has already declared Chaitar Vasava as its candidate on the seat. The sources, however, said Rahul Gandhi is learnt to have put his foot down on the seat considering the party is ''emotionally attached'' to due it being Patel's home turf.

Patel's son and daughter are seeking a ticket from Bharuch and talks are being held with the AAP leadership to agree to another seat.

Patel's son Faisal, who is a contender for the seat, said in a post on X, ''Honorable Shri Rahul Gandhi Ji, you listened to me and the Bharuch Congress workers.'' ''By supporting us, I and my fellow Bharuch Congress workers have been honored. I promise you that I will live up to your faith by winning the Bharuch Lok Sabha,'' he said indicating that the Bharuch seat would remain with the Congress.

INDIA bloc parties are together and will fight the polls in alliance, the sources said. A senior party leader also said that seat-sharing talks in Maharashtra are over after top party leadership held discussions with leaders of Shiv Sena (UBT) Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in the MVA. The sources said a formal announcement is delayed because of seats to be given to Prakash Amvedkar's party.

Meanwhile, AAP leaders also said certain new developments are delaying an official seat-sharing announcement with the Congress.

The sources claimed the Congress has expressed willingness to contest North East, Chandni Chowk and North West Delhi seats. Earlier, an agreement was reached that the Congress will contest East, North East and Chandni Chowk seats.

Udit Raj won from North West Delhi Lok Sabha seat as a BJP candidate in 2014 polls. He quit the BJP and joined the Congress after being denied a ticket in 2019.

All the 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi including North West Delhi were currently held by the BJP. Raj is considered as a front runner probable of the Congress from the seat.

Earlier in the day, AAP general secretary (organisation) Sandeep Pathak in a press conference said that the talks between the two parties are in the ''final stages''. Announcements for all the states will be made simultaneously, hopefully ''very soon'', he said.

Pathak sought to play down the development related to Bharuch seat, saying ''its not a big deal.'' Faisal on Thursday said that if Bharuch Lok Sabha seat went to the AAP, he and other ''conscientious'' Congress workers will not support its candidate. Pathak said, ''We will settle the issue mutually. In an alliance such situations and statements come up. We will address it maturely.''

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