Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections: MVA’s Seat-Sharing Deal Finalised, Uddhav Sena To Fight On 21 Seats, Congress Gets 17, Sharad Pawar's NCP To Contest 10

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections: MVA’s Seat-Sharing Deal Finalised, Uddhav Sena To Fight On 21 Seats, Congress Gets 17, Sharad Pawar's NCP To Contest 10

For the past several weeks there was intense bickering over seats among the MVA partners.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Tuesday, April 09, 2024, 02:58 PM IST
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In a worrying development on the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa  for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),  the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) announced seat adjustments in all the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra. With this the consolidation of anti-Mahayuti (led by BJP) votes is certain in most of the seats and this spells big trouble for the ruling coalition.  For the past several weeks there was intense bickering over seats among the MVA partners.

Till Monday evening there was talk of ``friendly fights" in a few constituencies. However, following the intervention of the Congress high command late night, the party agreed to give up its claims on key seats like Sangli and Bhiwandi which paved the way for a consensus within the MVA. 

The BJP led by deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had split the Shiv Sena first and then the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with a view to disintegrate the opposition and divide anti-incumbency votes. But the opposition appears to have neatly turned the tables on the BJP, by ensuring opposition unity. 

What is also significant is that Sharad Pawar, a senior leader of MVA, has kept a reserve force in the form of the Maratha Morcha led Manoj Jarange Patil. He intends to use Jarange Patil and thousands of his supporters for tactical voting in key constituencies to underwrite the defeat of the BJP or its allies in the Maha Yuti - Shiv Sena (Shinde) and NCP (Ajit Pawar).  Jarange Patil has already warned that Marathas would ensure the defeat of leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal who had opposed reservation of government jobs and educational seats to Marathas. The Mahayuti government did pass the Maratha reservation law, but it is already under legal challenge before the Bombay high court. If the outcome  of the litigation on the same issue in the past is any indication, the new law may also be set aside by the high court. The general perception among Marathas is that the state government has passed a law fully knowing that it won't stand judicial scrutiny. The agrement arrived at by the MVA constituents is significant in the background of notices issued to several of its leaders by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). 

Another interesting development on Tuesday is the emergence of the Shiv Sena (UBT) led by Uddhav Thackeray as the dominant organisation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi. The party has wrested a major share of the 48 Lok Sabha seats. It has got to field candidates in as many as 21 seats, including four (out of the six) in Mumbai. The Congress has got 17, including two in Mumbai, while the Nationalist Congress Party (SP) has settled for 10 seats. 

The seat distribution is as follows:

Congress -- 17: Nandurbar, Dhule, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondia, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Chandrapur, Nanded, Jalna, Mumbai North, Mumbai North Central, Pune, Latur, Solapur, Kolhapur andRamtek.

X

Shiv Sena (UBT) -- 21: Jalgaon, Parbhani, Nashik, Palghar, Kalyan, Thane, Raigad, Maval, Osmanabad, Ratnagiri, Buldhana, Hatkanangle, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Shirdi, Sangli, Hingoli, Yavatmal-Washim, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North West, Mumbai South and  Mumbai North East.

X

NCP (SP) -- 10: Baramati, Shirur, Satara, Bhiwandi, Dindori, Madha, Raver, Wardha, Ahmednagar- South, Beed.

X

The announcement was made in the presence of all the other MVA allies including smaller parties like PWP, CPI, AAP, CPM, SP and other Dalit parties. The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi led by Prakash Ambedkar had a tie up with the Shiv Sena (UBT) and it was expected some seats to be allocated to it. But, that did not happen and Ambedkar walked out in a huff. This might create problems for MVA in some of the seats.

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