Congress Gives up on Contentious Seats, Shiv Sena UBT Gets Highest Share

Mumbai: There was unease in Maharashtra Congress after Maha Vikas Aghadi formally announced its final seat sharing pact for the Lok Sabha elections. As per the final agreement, Shiv Sena UBT will contest 21 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats as the Congress high command has given up its claim on contentious Sangli, Bhiwandi and Mumbai South Central seats. The development has dismayed several party leaders, who were hoping to get candidature from the three seats.

As per Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) seat sharing formula, the Congress will contest on 17 seats, while NCP (SP) and Shiv Sena (UBT) will contest on 10 seats and 21 seats respectively. The decision was announced in a joint press conference held by NCP founder Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Congress Chief Nana Patole and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at the Shiv Sena (UBT) office in south Mumbai.

Shiv Sena (UBT) spokesperson Sanjay Raut read out the names of seats which were distributed among all three constituents. The state Congress leaders were pushing for the Sangli, Bhiwandi and Mumbai South Central seats. However, the Bhiwandi seat has gone to the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) and the remaining two have gone to Shiv Sena UBT.

It may be recalled that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has already announced renowned wrestler Chandrahar Patil as its candidate for the Sangli seat. According to reports, Congress MLA Vishwajeet Kadam is upset over the decision. The local Congress leaders wanted the seat for former Maharashtra chief minister Vasantdada Patil’s grandson Vishal Patil.

Mumbai Congress president Varsha Gaikwad was also interested in contesting the Lok Sabha election from the Mumbai South Central constituency. She has reportedly complained to the party high command against the state leaders for not taking a firm stand on the seat. She has also told the high command that the Congress has not been given “winnable” seats.She has also told the high command that the Congress has not been given “winnable” seats.

However, state Congress president Nana Patole said that all party leaders will accept the high command’s decision. “We are fighting this election to stop dictatorship and save the Constitution. People have seen how efforts I took to get favourable seats. But finally decisions were taken in the larger interest. Now that the decision has been made, I am confident that all leaders will accept it,” he said.

Asked if Congress is satisfied with the number of the seats, Mr.Patole said that Congress is a national party, but it has shown a large heart to root out the dictatorship from the country. “We will throw the BJP out of Maharashtra. Our party leaders and workers will work in Sangli and Bhiwandi for the victory of the MVA candidate. Votes of alliance partners will be transferred for each other’s candidates as the original Shiv Sainiks and loyal NCP workers have not forgotten how their parties have been split,” the Maharashtra Congress chief said.

Mr. Pawar said that there is no dispute on any Lok Sabha seat of Maharashtra.“The unanimous decision has been read out. There is no disagreement on any of the 48 seats. The candidates will be announced for all the seats in the next two days,” he said.

Uddhav Thackeray said that the MVA tried everything in vain to bring Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi in the alliance. “We even offered Mr. Ambedkar some seats. Unfortunately, it did not work. I have already stated last week that we will not say anything against Mr. Ambedkar as we respect him,” the Shiv Sena (UBT) chief said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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