Congress-Sena (UBT) wrangle over seats in Mumbai, Kolhapur delays MVA seat-sharing pact | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Congress-Sena (UBT) wrangle over seats in Mumbai, Kolhapur delays MVA seat-sharing pact

Mar 17, 2024 06:36 AM IST

MVA struggles to resolve seat-sharing conflicts for Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra between Congress and Shiv Sena over Mumbai and western Maharashtra seats.

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has failed to iron out differences over seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with a conflict between the Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) over two seats from Mumbai and two from western Maharashtra remaining unresolved. Neither party was ready to give up its claims to the seats in the talks between top MVA leaders till late on Saturday.

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Insiders said the Sena (UBT) was willing to concede two seats to the Congress: Mumbai North and Mumbai North Central. The Congress, however, has staked a claim to Mumbai North West and Mumbai South Central.

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“Everyone knows that it is impossible for the Congress to win the Mumbai North constituency, considering the complex dynamics because of which the BJP has been winning it,” said a Congress leader. “We could not win the seat even after fielding popular Marathi actress Urmila Matondkar in the last elections, and thus want them to give us other seats.”

The Congress wants Mumbai North West for Sanjay Nirupam, who has been preparing to contest the polls for a long time. Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, however, has already declared Amol Kirtikar as the party’s candidate from the seat. Amol is the son of sitting Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar. Following Amol’s candidature, the senior Kirtikar has decided not to contest again although he is in the chief minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.

The Sena (UBT) has staked a claim on Kolhapur, which it had won in 2019, or Sangli, which is traditionally considered a Congress seat. For Kolhapur, the MVA has convinced Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, a 12th-generation descendant of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, to contest the polls as a Congress candidate. The Maharashtra Congress had already declared his name at the beginning of this month. “This has become another bone of contention between the two allies,” said an insider. “In all, there are around seven seats over which the Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress have their own differences. For two seats, the Congress and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) have to resolve issues.”

Meanwhile, both Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders have decided that they will not be able to give more than four seats to the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). The decision was taken despite Ambedkar already rejecting the four-seat offer. Amid differences between the three parties and Ambedkar, Anandraj Ambedkar, Prakash’s brother, who heads the Republican Sena, met Pawar to discuss the possibilities of an alliance. Anandraj is said to have sought the Amravati seat for becoming an alliance partner, insiders revealed.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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