NEW DELHI: The Maha Vikas Aghadi of opposition in Maharashtra has hit a roadblock that threatens to derail their stated objective of putting up united fight against the BJP in Lok Sabha elections. Uddhav Thackeray‘s Shiv Sena (UBT) on Wednesday snubbed its allies – Congress and Sharad Pawar’s NCP – as it unilaterally released first list of 17 candidates.This even as the three MVA partners are engaged in discussions to finalise seat-sharing in the state.
The Congress reacted strongly to Shiv Sena (UBT) move and urged its ally to stick to “coalition dharma”. Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat said the unilateral announcement was not right. “Unfortunately, coalition dharma hasn’t been followed. Shiv Sena (UBT) must reconsider its decision,” Thorat said.
Thorat asserted that Congress was firm on contesting three seats – Sangli, Bhiwandi and Mumbai South Central – which are in the Shiv Sena (UBT)’s list. “Discussion was ongoing, on the seats of Sangli, Bhiwandi and South Central Mumbai. In such a situation, how can candidates’ names be announced in a one-sided manner. This issue will be discussed in the next meeting of Mahavikas Aghadi,” Thorat said.
The differences over seat sharing could prove costly for the opposition alliance as they face a formidable opposition in the ruling Mahayuti of the BJP, Eknath Shinde led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar led NCP. Ajit Pawar had on Tuesday claimed that there was no confusion in their alliance over seat sharing and had said that an announcement in this regard will be made on March 28.
“There is no confusion among Mahayuti. We sat together and decided on seat sharing. The BJP and Shiv Sena cooperated with us to decide the seats. 90 per cent of the decisions have been made. On March 28, all announcements will be made at a joint press conference with the BJP and Shiv Sena. Mahayuti will contest on all 48 seats,” Ajit Pawar said while addressing a press conference.
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi snaps ties with opposition alliance
Earlier today, the MVA suffered another jolt when Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar announced to go solo and declared candidates for 8 Lok Sabha seats. He also formed a new front with Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil.
Ambedkar, who is the grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar, accused the MVA allies of trying to use his outfit to promote dynastic politics. “They (MVA parties) were trying to use VBA for promoting dynastic politics which we have tried to resist,” Ambedkar said.
However, is some relief to the Congress, Ambedkar said that the VBA will support certain candidates of the grand old party.
Ambedkar said the VBA will support Congress candidate Vikas Thakre from the Nagpur constituency to take on Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, and the OBC Bahujan Party candidate in Sangli.
‘Shiv Sena (UBT) is making us bend and we are doing it’
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam reacted stronly to Shiv Sena (UBT)’s seat announcement and urged the grand old party to end the “self-destructive” alliance.
“Shiv Sena should not take an extreme stand. This will cause a huge loss to Congress. I want to attract the attention of Congress leadership to intervene, if not then break the alliance to save the party. The decision of an alliance with Shiv Sena will prove self-destructive for Congress and its impact will be felt in Maharashtra and even beyond,” Nirupam said speaking to reporters at a press conference in Mumbai.
“Balasaheb Thorat was one of the members appointed to lead the negotiation with the Shiv Sena. If he is saying that there should be a rethink, it means that even his words were not considered. If they have not listened to the negotiating team, it means we have all lost,” Nirupam said.
Speaking about his future course of action, Nirpuam said, “Now all options are open for me. I will wait for one week and take my decision.”
Nirupam, who is keen to contest the Mumbai North West parliamentary constituency, said the party leadership hasn’t got in touch with him in the last fortnight.
“The leadership isn’t bothered that injustice is being done to its leaders and workers. Shiv Sena (UBT) is making us bend and we are doing it,” he said.
He alleged that attempts are being made to “bury” the Congress in Mumbai and the party will pay a price for it. “I give my leaders a week’s time to decide,” he said.
Nirupam claimed that the Sena (UBT) has given the ticket in Mumbai northwest to an accused in an alleged scam during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I will not campaign for such a candidate. Didn’t the congress leadership which speaks against corruption realise this,” he asked. The Sena (UBT) has nominated Amol Kirtikar, son of Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar who owes allegiance to CM Shinde-led Sena, from Mumbai northwest.


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