‘United We Stand’: But Data Shows India’s Parties Fiercely Battled Each Other in 2019 – News18

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and NCP leader Sharad Pawar at the opposition meeting in Bengaluru on July 17, 2023. (Pic/PTI)

In fact, there are 246 such Lok Sabha seats where at least two constituents of this opposition alliance clashed with each other.

In Bengaluru, where a catchy acronym was coined by the opposition, the slogan was loud and clear: “United we stand”. Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal, who in 2013 vowed not to forge an alliance with either the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress, was seen smiling with the Karnataka Chief Minister. Siddaramaiah, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, whose party has accused the Trinamool Congress of unleashing violence on its workers in West Bengal, was seen having an intense conversation with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. It was emphasized that the bigger picture is to reach a unified front at the national level. But the data from the 2019 Lok Sabha elections shows that these Indian parties really fought each other hard.

There are 246 parliamentary seats across the country where at least two Indian parties fought against each other in the last general election, often resulting in a fierce war of words. There are 107 constituencies where three Indian parties contested against each other in 2019.

but that’s not all. There are 19 Lok Sabha seats where at least four such parties were involved in an electoral contest last time. And there are three constituencies where at least five political outfits that are now part of ‘Akhand’ India fought among themselves in 2019.

However, the data does not consider the electoral battles of the losing candidates of the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) due to the fluctuating state of their allegiances.

However, there are 267 seats where none of these parties fought against each other.

Now, with the initial phase of alliance naming complete and the opposition moving towards formulating a common minimum programme, it will be interesting to see what the seat-sharing agreement is. If this 2019 data is anything to suggest, none of these parties will be willing to give up their ground from the areas where they fought in 2019, even if unsuccessfully, and hence have an organization and cadre base.

While the BJP won 303 seats with a vote share of 37.7% and formed the government in 2019, the Congress managed to get just 52 seats and a vote share of slightly less than 10%. It was followed by DMK and TMC.