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Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came into existence opposing the Congress and BJP. In the true sense, that X-factor has been a key to the grand success of AAP in Delhi and Punjab. In Delhi, it gave AAP three consecutive successes and Punjab a victory greater than Congress and Akalis. The Aam Aadmi Party has managed to increase its vote share in many other states like Gujarat, Haryana and Goa. But ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the AAP appears to have fallen into the trap of the Congress-led INDIA bloc and it may hurt the party’s prospects in the Parliamentary polls.

AAP-Congress Seat Sharing Deal

In Delhi (7 seats), Congress will contest three seats and AAP on four while in Gujarat, Congress will contest 24 seats and AAP on two seats – Bharuch and Bhavnagar. Of the 10 seats in Haryana, Congress to contest nine and AAP on one -Kurukshetra. In Chandigarh, the Congress will contest on the lone seat while in Goa, the Congress to contest on both seats. The AAP had already announced a candidate for one of the two seats in Goa but withdrew it after a deal with the Congress.

Delhi | Congress and AAP announce seat-sharing in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Chandigarh and Goa

In Delhi (7 seats), Congress to contest on 3 and AAP on 4
In Gujarat (26 seats), Congress to contest on 24 and AAP on 2 (in Bharuch and Bhavnagar)
In Haryana (10 seats), Congress to… pic.twitter.com/vCauAdvkUm
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2024

Historical Data From Delhi 2019 Polls

In Delhi, where the AAP is multiple times stronger than Congress, the ruling party has given three out of seven seats to the grand old party. The Congress has been continuously witnessing an erosion of its vote bank in the national capital in favour of the AAP. By joining hands with Congress, AAP has sent out a message that both parties are the same and thus it is bound to alienate those voters who support AAP for its distinct ideology. In fact, on all the seven seats, the combined vote share of AAP-Congress was less than that polled by the BJP in the 2019 polls with the Congress securing second position and the AAP at third rank. 

Learnings From RJD, Samajwadi Party

In Bihar, during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and even during the 2020 assembly elections, the RJD was in alliance with the Congress. It gave nine seats to the Congress in the Parliamentary polls but the alliance failed to win even a single seat. In the 2020 assembly polls, the RJD contested 144 seats and won 75 of them while the Congress contested 70 seats and won just 19. The lower strike rate of Congress was considered one of the reasons that the RJD lost out on power by a whisker. In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party had allied with the Congress during the 2017 Assembly polls. The Samajwadi Party contested 298 seats and the Congress on 105 seats. The Congress won just seven seats while the SP bagged 47 of them. 

In the 2022 assembly polls, Akhilesh Yadav opted not to ally with the Congress and contested 347 seats on its own by allocating 56 seats to the regional parties. Due to this, the SP managed to increase its winning seats to 111 while the Congress despite contesting 399 seats, won just two seats. This shows that allying with Congress hurts the regional parties’ prospects. Whenever a party, strong in a particular region or state allies with the Congress, its winning chances decrease while helping the Congress survive extinction threat. If the trend continues, AAP may witness a decrease in its vote share while that of Congress may increase slightly. This may further hurt the AAP’s effort to increase its presence across the country.