Mumbai: The Congress and the NCP will begin seat-sharing talks on July 16. Both parties are now gearing up to fight the BJP and the Shiv Sena, after their dismal performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. After being rocked by a series of resignations, the picture for the Congress seems grim with regard to their preparedness for the forthcoming assembly election.
The resignation of Ashok Chavan as the party's state chief was accepted but the announcement of Balasaheb Thorat as his successor has been kept on hold. This makes it seem as though the Congress is leaderless and there was no preparation for the Vidhan Sabha poll. “We are preparing for the election on a low-key basis,” Chavan told the media after he emergedf from a three-hour long meeting with Thorat and the leader of the opposition, Vijay Wadettiwar. The meeting took place at Wadettiwar’s official residence near Mantralaya.
“We will start discussions with NCP on July 16. The next day we will consult with our alliance partners and continue with all those with whom we joined hands during the Lok Sabha election. New, like-minded partners are also welcome,” he added. When asked about the possibility of an alliance with the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), he said the Congress would try its best to join hands with the VBA. “The 40-seat offer was not made by VBA chief Ambedkar. We will discuss this issue with him,” he added. When asked about the possibility of an alliance with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), he refused to disclose the stand of the state unit. “The party high command will take a call on this. We will follow their instructions,” he said.