Pranjal Bhuyan

GUWAHATI, March 3: The seat-sharing arrangement among the constituents of the seven-party opposition ‘grand alliance’ is likely to be formalised tomorrow.

Leaders of grand alliance partners told The Assam Tribune that the deliberations among them are at a final stage and a formal decision regarding allocation of constituencies is expected by tomorrow.

“Senior leaders of our party held a meeting last night to finalise the seats where we intend to field candidates. In addition, a decision was also arrived at regarding the seats which we are willing to offer to all our alliance partners,” a senior Congress leader said.

“We will formally intimate our alliance partners about the details by late this evening or by tomorrow morning and the final seat-sharing formula is likely to be made public tomorrow evening,” he added.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had discussed various poll-related issues, including seat-sharing, with senior State leaders during her recent visit to Assam.

“We have kept our party high command in the loop, as is the rule. However, most of the decisions regarding seat-sharing and negotiations with our allies have been conducted at the state level. There has not been any undue interference from our central leadership,” he added.

On being contacted, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI) said, “The seat-sharing talks were positive and we do not foresee any hurdles. We are waiting for a formal word from the Congress regarding the number of seats they have to offer us.”

Sources added that the Congress is likely to contest from around 85 seats, while AIUDF will be allocated 17-20 constituencies. In addition, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which joined the grand alliance recently, is likely to field its candidates from all the 12 seats falling in the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

The Congress, which is the senior partner in the grand alliance, is expected to leave a total of 8-9 seats to the Left parties and the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM) together.

Sources said there is some tussle between the Congress and the AIUDF over a few seats. Both the parties had earlier hinted that they may go for ‘friendly contest’ in a few constituencies.

There is also a likelihood of friendly contest between the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in one or two seats.