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Maha Vikas Aghadi strong and united, will fight each Lok Sabha seat as one unit: Sanjay Raut

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is strong and united and will contest each Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra as one unit.

Talking to reporters after a meeting of the alliance to discuss the strategy and seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Raut said, “The allies will contest each constituency as their own to win the most number of seats in the state.”

The Rajya Sabha member said Prakash Ambedkar of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) will attend the bloc’s next meeting on January 30. MVA now comprises the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena (UBT), Congress and the NCP faction under Sharad Pawar. “We sent him (Ambedkar) the formal invite today and spoke to him over the phone. (MVA) Leaders from Delhi also spoke to him, and he is satisfied,” Raut said.Earlier, Ambedkar launched a broadside against state Congress chief Nana Patole, saying he had no decision-making power after MVA invited him to be a part of the opposition alliance. VBA will join seat-sharing discussions if the top brass of the Congress extended an invitation, Ambedkar said in a letter to Patole.

Congress leaders Patole, Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan, NCP’s Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad and Sena (UBT) leaders Sanjay Raut and Vinayak Raut attended the MVA meeting. Raut said Communist leaders were also present.

“Our discussions were good and there was no problem. We are meeting again on January 30,” he said. They are also in touch with Swabhimani party leader Raju Shetti, he said.

“Each seat will be of MVA, and we will fight and win,” he said when asked about the grouping’s seat-sharing formula.

“We had a detailed discussion (on seat sharing),” Raut said.

According to a senior state Congress leader, his party is likely to contest 20 to 21 of Maharashtra’s 48 seats as part of the MVA. The leader told PTI that there is clarity about 30 seats. For instance, Baramati will go to the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, Nagpur to Congress, and a few seats in Konkan to Shiv Sena (UBT), he said.

“There will be no dispute over these seats. But talks will be held for about 18 seats,” the Congress leader said.

Of these 18 seats, Ramtek, Hingoli, Shirdi, Yavatmal, Bhiwandi, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai South Central and Mumbai North West were contested by the Congress in 2019 but won by the undivided Shiv Sena.

“We want (to contest) these seats but Shiv Sena (UBT) says they had won those last time,” he said, adding that MPs from these seats have switched over to Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.

“Instead of claiming more seats, we intend to contest well and win them by fielding candidates with winning potential,” he said. The Congress leader said Amravati was given to NCP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but the Independent winner Navneet Rana, who was backed by it, has joined the BJP-led alliance, which also comprises the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the NCP faction under Ajit Pawar.

“While Sangli is being claimed by the NCP, we have our candidate there,” the Congress leader said.

He said that Prakash Ambedkar of VBA was in touch with the MVA leadership and he would be on board soon.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

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