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Mumbai: Prakash Ambedkar-Raju Shetti likely to be big hurdle for Congress in alliance talk

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Mumbai: As the Lok Sabha election is approaching within a period of eight months, all political parties have began preparation for the alliance talks and negotiations with like-minded parties. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has already began such procedure and held at least three meetings to discuss possible alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party, left parties and disgruntled Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS). However, Prakash Ambedkar, president of Bharip-Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) and Raju Shetti, chief of SSS has already announced their candidates in some constituencies before negotiation talks with Congress which might be a big hurdle before Congress to go ahead for making grand-alliance in the state.

State Congress leaders met on Sunday at Tilak Bhavan in Dadar to discuss the political strategy. At present Congress has 42 legislators in state assembly and two Members of Parliament (MPs). Ashok Chavan, president of MPCC has focused on building organisational set up till the grass route level to ensure the party will gain maximum seats in the state which would help to form the government.

“We are ready to ally with all anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to change the government in next election. In principally, we in a meeting – have decided to ally with NCP, SP, Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), SSS, Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M), BBM, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), People’s Republican Party (PRP), Republican Party of India, Gawai fraction (RPI-G) and other parties,” said Chavan and added, they will very soon began negotiation talks with chief of these parties.


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When Congress is planning to hold talks with other parties, Raju Shetti, Member of Parliament (MP) and chief of SSS has announced that his state president Ravikant Tupkar will contest Lok Sabha poll from Buldhana whereas another young leader Anil Pawar would be candidate from Madha in Solapur district. Madha represents by Vijay Sinh Mohite-Patil – MP of NCP and strong Maratha leader from Western Maharashtra.

Mohite-Patil is sitting MP and hence it is highly impossible that NCP will easily leave Madha LS constituency to SSS. Madha was earlier represented by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and it is open secret that Shetti is strong opponent of Pawar. Shetti has expressed his desire to go with Congress and but not with NCP and has demanded to share six seats from Congress. Hence, it would be challenge before Congress how to untie the this difficult knot between Shetti-Pawar.

Prakash Ambedkar, BBM chief has also selected 14 assembly constituencies on various caste basis and announced to field his candidate. Ambedkar has suggested Congress to share these seats to BBM. According to seat sharing formula, in Lok Sabha polls, Congress fields 26 seats whereas NCP fields 22 seats out of total 48 seats. Both these Congress have to accommodate their allies.

In this situation, if Congress will not be ready to contest less than half seats sharing maximum to its allies. However, Chavan has hopes that the issue will sorted out. “The seat sharing talks are yet to start. Certainly there will be way to come to some consensus as every party want to thrown out BJP,” said Chavan.