Maha Vikas Aaghadi keen on seat-sharing talks with VBA: Sanjay Raut

Though VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar had declared candidates for several Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader says Opposition alliance remains interested in keeping them in the bloc

April 02, 2024 11:41 pm | Updated 11:41 pm IST - MUMBAI

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut.

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut. | Photo Credit: PTI

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut stated on April 2 that the Maha Vikas Aaghadi (MVA) remains eager to engage in seat-sharing discussions with the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA), despite the latter’s prior declaration of candidates for several Lok Sabha constituencies.

Mr. Raut reiterated his call for the elimination of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in favour of conducting elections via ballot papers. He asserted that if polling is not conducted using EVMs, the BJP would face defeat.

Previously engaged in discussions with the Opposition MVA comprising the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar), and Shiv Sena (UBT) for the Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Ambedkar recently unveiled candidates for 20 out of the total 48 seats in the State.

‘Offered 5 seats’

The Sena (UBT) leader clarified that while the MVA had presented a proposal offering the VBA five seats, including Akola, Ramtek, Dhule, and a seat in Mumbai, it was the VBA that discontinued negotiations with the MVA. He affirmed that the MVA continues to be interested in having a dialogue with the VBA. “We were not the one to stop the dialogue with VBA. In fact, we are still keen on holding talks with them,” Mr. Raut said.

Also read | Prakash Ambedkar and his party to back Congress in Lok Sabha polls

The VBA’s candidates secured third place in numerous constituencies during the 2019 Lok Sabha election, where Congress or NCP (undivided) candidates were placed second. This outcome indicated a division of votes largely in favour of winning candidates, primarily from the BJP and Shiv Sena (undivided).

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