Lok Sabha elections | Maha Vikas Aghadi seals poll pact in Maharashtra; Shiv Sena (UBT) to contest 21 seats 

In the partnership of the MVA, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar) will contest elections on 10 seats while Congress will contest on 17 seats. 

April 09, 2024 12:44 pm | Updated April 10, 2024 12:56 am IST - Mumbai

Shivsena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP (SP) Chief Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan during  the press conference of INDI Alliance in Mumbai on April 9, 2024.

Shivsena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP (SP) Chief Sharad Pawar and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan during the press conference of INDI Alliance in Mumbai on April 9, 2024. | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Opposition alliance in Maharashtra, has finally sealed its seat-sharing deal for the Lok Sabha election.

The coalition decided the final seat allocation on April 9 and announced it at a joint press conference held at ‘Shivalaya’, the Shiv Sena (UBT) office in south Mumbai on Gudi Padwa, the beginning of the Marathi New Year. 

In the MVA comprising the Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress and the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar), the maximum number of seats was allocated to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) which will be contesting 21 seats. The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar) will contest 10 seats while the Congress will get 17 seats. 

This seat-sharing announcement has come at a time when there have been reports that the MVA parties were unable to reach consensus on three seats — Sangli, Bhiwandi and Mumbai-South-Central. The Congress has given up its claim on the contentious Sangli and Bhiwandi seats, which will now be contested by the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the NCP (SP).

Also Read | Tensions run high between MVA allies over Sangli Lok Sabha seat

The Shiv Sena (UBT) will contest from the constituencies of Jalgaon, Parbhani, Nashik, Palghar, Kalyan, Thane, Raigad, Maval, Osmanabad, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Buldhana, Hathkanangkale, Aurangabad, Shirdi, Sangli, Hingoli, Yavatmal-Washim, Mumbai-South, Mumbai-South-Central, Mumbai North-West and Mumbai North-East. 

The Congress has got Nandurbar, Dhule, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondia, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Chandrapur, Nanded, Jalna, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai-North, Pune, Latur, Solapur, Kolhapur and Ramtek seats. 

The NCP (SP) will contest from Baramati, Shirur, Satara,Bhiwandi, Dindori, Madha, Raver, Wardhan, Ahmednagar South and Beed seats. 

The State leadership of the Congress was reportedly miffed as Uddhav Thackeray, without consulting with the party, had announced Chandrahar Patil as the Sangli candidate.

In Bhiwandi, NCP (SP) announced their candidate even though the Congress wanted to contest from the seat. In Mumbai-South-Central Shiv Sena UBT has given ticket to Anil Desai whereas, Congress wanted to field their own candidate from there. 

However, in today’s joint press conference, the party leaders said that there is no disagreement among the MVA partners. NCP (SP) chief, Sharad Pawar said, “There are 48 seats in the state. We do not have any differences in it. Be it Sangli or any other seat in the state. We have discussed and the decision is taken unanimously.” 

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader, Uddhav Thackeray said that the main goal of this coalition is to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “It is natural for any partnership to go through rounds of discussions to come to an agreement. Finally, we have closed all our discussions and meetings, and it is time to begin the election campaign in full strength.”

On Shiv Sena (UBT) refusing to give up Sangli seat to the Congress, Mr. Thackeray said, “When victory against the BJP is the larger goal, we must set aside our certain indifferences. Our fight is against the Narendra Modi’s party BJP and not with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” 

To this, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said, “The Congress party has begun the fight against the dictatorial government. Our party has decided to be large-hearted to achieve the final goal of defeating the BJP. We will never forget how the BJP ill-treated our leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.” 

“All the disputes over seat-sharing is over. There is no dispute over Sangli and Bhiwandi. We assure there won’t be any vote transfer issue. The original parties, Shiv Sena and NCP are with us and together the three party will fight against the corrupted party, BJP,” added Mr. Patole.

Taking a political jibe at PM Modi, Mr. Thackeray said that in a very long time, there was a strange coincidence on Monday, the same day when PM Modi was campaigning in Maharashtra. “Surya grahan’ (solar eclipse), ‘amavasya’ (new moon) and Modi’s rally-- all together at the same day. This strange coincidence the country is witnessing for the first time. it is definitely not a good sign.”

“The speech I gave yesterday was not about the PM of India but it about the “Bhrasht Janta Party’s’ (Bharatiya Janta Party) leader Narendra Modi. When we respond to his remarks, please don’t take it as an insult to the PM. Our criticism will be about the leader of a corrupt party,” he said.

Mr. Thackeray referred to the remark where PM Modi referred to Shiv Sena (UBT) as a ‘fake Shiv Sena’ party in the state. “It is not right for a leader of a party of extortionists to call us fake. The BJP is an extortionists party, and it is quite evident now more than ever as we all are aware of the electoral bonds scam. We wish the people of the country a happy, prosperous and destruction of dictatorship in this New Year!” 

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest in the country after Uttar Pradesh which has 80. The state goes on poll in five phases — April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20 and the vote counting is scheduled on June 4. 

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