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Cong Steps Back, Paving Way For MVA Seat Sharing Pact In Maha


The eagerly awaited seat sharing deal for the 2024 general elections between the constituents of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra, which sends the second highest (48) members to the Lower House of Parliament, Lok Sabha, after Uttar Pradesh, was announced in a joint press conference in Mumbai by NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray and state Congress president Nana Patole on Tuesday after weeks of tough negotiations. The announcement incidentally was made on the day of ‘Gudi Padwa’, which marks the beginning of Marathi new year.

As per the deal, struck after the Congress stepped back and conceded the contentious Sangli and Mumbai South Central seats to the Sena (UBT) and Bhiwandi seat to the NCP (SP), the highest number of Lok Sabha seats from the state 21 will be contested by Shiv Sena (UBT), followed by the Congress (17) with the NCP (SP) contesting 10 seats.

Without waiting for the seat sharing pact to be struck, the Shiv Sena (UBT) had unilaterally declared candidates for Sangli and Mumbai South Central seats, and the NCP (SP) its nominee for Bhiwandi, from where the Congress had been hopeful of giving a good performance. The Congress eventually gave in after the other two alliance partners refused to budge.

Addressing the media at ‘Shivalaya’, the Shiv Sena (UBT) office in south Mumbai, party head and former state chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said in an alliance, winning is important and defeating the BJP is the goal.

“When victory against the BJP is the larger goal, we have to set aside certain differences,” he said when asked about the Shiv Sena (UBT) refusing to give Sangli seat to the Congress.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole claimed that his party has decided to be “large-hearted” to achieve the final goal of defeating PM Modi and the BJP. The Congress workers will fight the BJP and ensure victory of the MVA candidates in Sangli, Mumbai South Central and Bhiwandi, he said. While acknowledging that there will be some heartburn among the party workers over this decision, he shared that “We have resolved all the issues and our workers should also accept the decision.”

As part of the deal, apart from Sangli, the Shiv Sena (UBT) is dominating the Mumbai landscape contesting on Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North West and Mumbai North East seats.

Besides other seats, the Congress has got Mumbai North Central and Mumbai North seats.

The NCP (SP) will contest Bhiwandi, Satara, Ahmednagar South and Beed seats, among others.

Lok Sabha elections 2024 in Maharashtra will be held in five phases on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP emerged as the largest party with 23 seats, followed by the Shiv Sena (undivided) with 18 seats.

Hindustan Times has reported that the Congress has been given seven of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the Vidarbha region, three seats each in Marathwada and Western Maharashtra, and two seats each in North Maharashtra and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (both the seats are in Mumbai).

It is for the first time that Congress will contest only two of the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai where it was founded in 1885. They are Mumbai North and Mumbai North Central constituencies.

The Congress hasn’t been allocated a single seat in the Konkan region.

The NCP (SP), on the other hand, has been given five Lok Sabha seats from Western Maharashtra, two from North Maharashtra and one each from Vidarbha, Marathwada and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The three parties have not left any seats for their smaller allies in the MVA.

Thackeray shared that the MVA wanted Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) chief Prakash Ambedkar to be part of the alliance but unfortunately he chose a different path.




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