Lok Sabha 2019: NCP Likely to leave Kalyan Lok Sabha seat for MNS?

Mumbai: Expressing his personal opinion, Ajit Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader on Tuesday invited Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena to join the Maha gathbandhan, led by Congress-NCP for the Lok Sabha polls. Another NCP leader said, the party consider leaving the Kalyan LS seat for MNS and would consider leaving few seats for the assembly polls.

NCP Sharad Pawar had clarified on Friday, his party will not forge an alliance with MNS. However, his nephew has taken a contrarian view to that of his uncle. Many feel, it could be an NCP ploy, to show Ajit is the decision maker for the assembly polls.

Ajit said, MNS should join Congress alliance to avoid division of their votes. “All anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should come together to defeat the Modi government. MNS too should join our alliance and we believe this effort of aligning all opposition parties will help to dethrone Modi government,” said Ajit.

NCP wants to use Raj’s oratory skills to attract good crowds and help influence them to veer towards the Maha gathbandhan. “Raj is a strong opponent of Modi and he usually attracts huge crowds and we hope his oratory skills help attract considerable votes against the BJP,” said a senior NCP leader.

He added, “I personally think, NCP will leave the Kalyan seat for MNS, since Ramesh Patil, a former MNS legislator is a strong candidate against Shiv Sena’s Srikant Shinde.” Shinde is the sitting MP. Patil was elected a legislator in 2009, from Kalyan assembly constituency.

He lost 2014 polls and later joined the BJP. At present, Patil is a BJP legislator of the upper house. According to this NCP leader, if Raj insists, Patil may rejoin MNS and contest the LS polls. The other possibility is Patil may join NCP and contest the seat with backing of MNS.

“Instead of fielding more seats, MNS should focus on a single seat in LS polls and contest on more assembly seats,” NCP leader opined. Reacting on these developments, an MNS leader said their party leaders have suggested Raj should not repeat the mistake of 2014 of contesting in LS polls.

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