Lok Sabha 2024 | Congress shouldn't allow itself to be arm-twisted by Sena (UBT), says Sanjay Nirupam

Sena (UBT) said it will contest from 22 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra even though the MVA alliance have not yet finalised a seat-sharing deal

March 30, 2024 03:25 pm | Updated 04:06 pm IST - Mumbai

A file photo of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam

A file photo of Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam | Photo Credit: VIJAY BATE

In the wake of the Shiv Sena (UBT) announcing 17 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on March 30 said his party should not allow itself to be arm-twisted by the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit for the seats in Mumbai.

He claimed that the Sena (UBT) was not in a position to win any seat without Congress' support.

Earlier this week, the Sena (UBT) brought out a list of 17 candidates, and said it would contest a total of 22 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra. These seats included four in Mumbai.

Mr. Nirupam is eyeing to contest the Mumbai North-West seat from where he lost in 2019, However, the Thackeray-led party's move triggered unease among the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies as the three parties are yet to finalise the seat-sharing deal for the Lok Sabha polls, which will be held in five phases in Maharashtra starting April 19. The Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) and Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) are part of the alliance.

Talking to PTI, Mr. Nirupam said, "The Congress should not come under the threat of Shiv Sena (UBT) as the Uddhav Thackeray-led party is not capable of winning any seat without Congress support."

"Shiv Sena (UBT) arm-twisted the Congress to take five of the six seats in Mumbai. But the Congress should not allow itself to be arm-twisted like this. This action is against the Congress and it's a ploy to finish off the party in the city," the former Mumbai Congress chief alleged.

He said if the Congress is considering friendly fights in the disputed constituencies, he was ready for it. He was responding to Congress leader Naseem Khan's statement that the party's state unit has sent a proposal to its central leadership seeking permission to have friendly fights in the six seats in Mumbai.

"Congress should go for friendly fights in Sangli, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai South-Central and Bhiwandi," Mr. Nirupam said. He reiterated his stand of giving a week's time to his party's leadership, after which he will decide on his future course of action (on contesting the Mumbai North-West seat).

Earlier this week, he slammed his party leadership for allowing Sena (UBT) to grab most of the Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai and said "all options were open" before him.

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