Congress making last ditch attempts to secure alliances in Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra

New Delhi: From Delhi to Bihar to Maharashtra, the Congress is scrambling to finalise its alliances on Tuesday.

In Delhi suspense continued over whether the Congress will enter into electoral alliance with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar stepped in as a mediator.

PC Chacko, the incharge of the Congress party in Delhi, said, “I am in talks with Congress party leaders in Delhi on the possibilities of joining hands with AAP. The Congress Working Committee has decided to align with like-minded parties to defeat the BJP in the general elections.”

The final decision will soon be taken by party chief Rahul Gandhi, he said.

In West Bengal, alliance talks between the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) did not make any headway as the grand old party announced on Monday its candidates from Raiganj and Murshidabad constituencies, the bone of contention between the two sides. Both seats are currently held by the CPI(M).

Congress leaders in Bihar said a pact between the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and several smaller constituents of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) will be worked out in the next couple of days.

Political observers have commented on the difficulty the Congress seems to be having in finalising previously announced pacts as the party has been demanding a disproportionately high number of seats.

In Bihar, for instance, where the Congress isn’t particularly strong, the party has been holding out for 11 seats while the RJD is willing to give it a maximum of eight.

The Congress has been kept out of the coalition of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the RLD in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

In Maharashtra, the Congress and Pawar’s NCP have almost finalised the alliance. While the Congress is expected to get 26 seats, the remaining 22 will go to the NCP. The two parties fought separately in 2014.