Maharashtra 2019

Opposition seat sharing in Maharashtra unresolved

Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan with Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi (left) and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan with Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi (left) and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik in Mumbai on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Announcement put off amid talks

The announcement on a united opposition front was cancelled on Wednesday after the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) failed to arrive at a solution after a series of meeting with smaller allies in Maharashtra.

Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the seat distribution between the Congress and the NCP has been sorted out successfully but discussions over three or four seats were on. “However, there are other parties which are yet not satisfied and some minor course correction is needed which is taking time. We wanted to announce the alliance today but now we will declare it through a press release in some time,” said Mr. Chavan.

NCP chief spokesperson and Mumbai president Nawab Malik said seat sharing talks with Left parties and the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) were also underway.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has officially joined the opposition front and will contest three seats — Shivajinagar-Mankhurd, Bhiwandi (E) and Aurangabad (E).

“Yes, we demanded seven seats earlier. But ultimately our motive is to defeat the BJP-Sena alliance and weaken it wherever possible. The local Congress leaders understand our demands but its leaders in Delhi give us trouble sometimes. But now everything has been sorted,” said Abu Azmi, the party’s State unit president.

According to sources, the Congress and NCP too have locked horns over Amravati and Melghat seats in Vidarbha. While the NCP wants the Amravati seat, former BJP MLA-turned-Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh is pitching for the same.

Staking claim

The Congress also wants the Melghat seat, while the NCP isn’t ready to give up its claim easily. In its second list released on Tuesday, Congress named Nanda Mhatre from Pen assembly segment of Raigad district. Pen is a PWP bastion and in 2014 Dhairyasheel Patil of PWP had won the seat.

Among the other left parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is miffed with the NCP for planning to field Apurva Hire from Nasik West segment, which the former had earlier promised to not contest.

The initially inconclusive talks with former MP Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) have been sorted with SSS getting five seats.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 11:29:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/maharashtra-assembly/opposition-seat-sharing-in-maharashtra-unresolved/article29577619.ece

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