Updated April 15th, 2024 at 08:39 IST

Less Than 300: Congress to Contest Fewest Seats Since 1951 in Lok Sabha Polls 2024

As an outcome of seat-sharing pacts with allies of INDI bloc, the Congress party is set to field the least number of candidates since 1951 in the 2024 polls.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
Less Than 300: Congress to Contest Fewest Seats Since 1951 in Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Image:Facebook
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New Delhi: As an outcome of seat-sharing pacts with allies of INDI bloc, the Congress party is set to field the least number of candidates since 1951 in the Lok Sabha elections 2024. Notably, the Congress has agreed to regional players for seat-sharing agreement at a time when its tally has plunged profoundly over the last two general elections of 2014 and 2019. 

The grand old party has declared its candidates on 278 seats in 27 states and eight Union Territories so far. The party will announce in coming days candidates on a few more seats in Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. In the BJP ruled state of UP, the Congress is yet to announce Rae Bareli and Amethi seat. 

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However, the expected announcements will not add more than 20 seats to the sum total, making party's total tally of seats to be contested in 2024 lowest ever since 1951 general elections. 

Congress to Contest Fewest Seats Since 1951 

The Election Commission data reveals that Congress contested 421 seats in 2019, 464 in 2014, 440 in 2009, and 417 in 2004, which is the lowest number of seats it has contested up to now in a bid to form government by winning the Lok Sabha elections. 

Of the total seats contested, the Congress managed victory on 52 seats in 2019, 44 in 2014, 206 in 2009 and 145 in 2004.

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During the coalition era between 1989 and 1999, the Congress party still fielded candidates in over 450 seats. It had 453 candidates in 1999, 477 in 1998, 529 in 1996, 487 in 1991 (500 including Punjab — elections for the state were held in 1992), and 510 in 1989.

In a bid to dethrone BJP from the Centre, the Congress this time has agreed to fight the elections along with regional players. Hence, it compromised on contesting over 200 seats. 

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The Congress has already conceded a large number of seats to its allies in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Tamil Nadu — the four states that account for 201 seats. In these four states, the Congress will have —17 candidates in UP including Amethi and Rae Bareli, nine in Bihar, nine in Tamil Nadu, and has announced 13 so far in Bengal.

In Maharashtra, the largest electoral state after UP, the Congress will contest fewer seats this time. Of the total 48 seats, the party will field candidates on 17, leaving 31 for its MVA partners- Shiva Sena UBT and NCP.    

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Many Congress leaders argued that size of the seat pact for the party is not that important as the primary agenda is to fight this election as part of the INDI alliance. 

 


 

 

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Published April 15th, 2024 at 08:39 IST