DC Edit | Maha Opposition closes ranks

By :  DC Comment
Update: 2024-06-16 18:40 GMT
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan during a joint press conference, in Mumbai, Saturday, June 15, 2024. (PTI Photo/Shashank Parade)

One of the key states that stopped the BJP from getting a simple majority in the Lok Sabha elections is Maharashtra where the unity of purpose paid for the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Opposition alliance of three major parties. The MVA has now decided to fight the Assembly elections, due for later this year, in a similar way. The move could make it difficult for Mahayuti, the ruling alliance, to return to power, if the voting pattern of the Lok Sabha elections offers an indication.

Two of the major constituents of the MVA — the Shiv Sena of Uddhav Thackeray and the NCP of Sharad Pawar — each had a score to settle with the BJP which, they believe, engineered splits in their parties to form the state government, led by Eknath Shinde. To add insult to their injuries, the Election Commission had recognised the rebels as the real party though their legacies lay with those in the Opposition. The results of the Lok Sabha elections, however, offered the parties a sense of legitimacy. The combined Opposition won 31 of the 48 seats leaving only 17 to the NDA. While the Congress bagged 14 seats including that of a rebel who returned to the party fold, Mr Thackeray’s Sena won nine seats and Mr Pawar’s party eight against seven and one, respectively, by the two other factions.

Now that the Opposition has learned that it pays to take on the mighty enemy united, the alliance partners have decided that the three parties and their potential allies will share seats mainly on the winnability factor with “no big brother” among them. On the other side of the divide, the NDA in the state, led by the BJP, will have to go the extra mile if it wants to keep the flock together, as reports of the rebels returning to their parent parties have already started appearing. The negotiating skills of the parties in the two fronts will be put to test in coming days which will play a substantial role in deciding who wins the Assembly race.


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