Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 18 May 2024 5.32 AM IST

Seat sharing talks in Maharashtra cause rift within alliances: Shiv Sena-NCP split delays candidate declarations


NEW DELHI: The seat sharing talks in the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra, where BJP and Congress cannot win alone, are breaking down. The reason for the crisis is the split between Shiv Sena and NCP. Elections in the state will be held in five phases between April 19 and May 20. The prolongation of the candidate debates will also affect the campaign.

Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray faction's stance is tarnishing the 'India' front's hopes of winning maximum seats against the BJP. Out of the 22 seats that the Shiv Sena said it would contest, candidates have been announced in 16. This includes the Mumbai-Northwest and Sangli constituencies where the Congress has expressed interest. Attempts are being made to resolve the issue through discussion.

Even when it was in NDA, Shiv Sena had argued in the same way. The problems that arose due to the seat disputes in 2019 resulted in its departure from the front. Although the majority of MLAs and MPs are with Eknath Shinde, Uddhav Thackeray believes that he has popular support. BJP is trying to bring Raj Thackeray's new construction force to the fore to dash Uddhav's hopes that Bal Thackeray's legacy will translate into votes.

There is no unity in seat division in NDA either. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar announced that the candidates would be jointly announced on the 28th, but it did not happen. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had personally led the seat-sharing discussions.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena announced eight candidates. He is disappointed that his son Dr Srikanth's seat, Kalyan, is being demanded by the BJP. BJP offered six seats to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's NCP, which wanted nine seats. It was also stipulated that BJP candidates would contest on the NCP symbol in two places. This again made it uncertain.

The declaration of RJD candidates in four constituencies caused confusion but in Bihar, the Mahagatbandhan or Grand Alliance seat of the 'India' Front was agreed upon. In Purnia, a friendly contest between Congress's Pappu Yadav and RJD's Bima Bharti was also arranged.

RJD, which did not win a single seat in 2019, will contest in 26 of the 40 seats. Nine for Congress, three for CPML and one each for CPM and CPI.

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