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MVA mulls on equal seat sharing for alliance partners

NewsMVA mulls on equal seat sharing for alliance partners

NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) bloc, comprising of Congress party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray, have discussed on making use of formulae of equal seat count for each major partner in the alliance.

The top leaders from all the three major parties of MVA have marked out a 96-each (which equals 288 Assembly seats in Maharashtra) where all the three parties will get equal representation in seat sharing. A Congress leader said, “The idea behind it is that no alliance partner feels that he is an elder brother or a younger brother in the alliance. Every party’s rank and file gets a strong single message that all of us are equal. But it is just an idea for now and hasn’t been formalised yet. There is no decision over it yet. Our Political Affairs Committee has further discussed our preparations and the state in charge Ramesh Chennithala had also instructed us to mark out seats where we can perform well. So that the Congress party can negotiate seats which are winnable for the party.”

According to a party insider, the opposition bloc is also going to accommodate smaller parties, “For instance, if the Samajwadi Party demands one seat, then they will get it from Congress’s seat share. The same way, other smaller parties in the state will be accommodated and get their seats from the share of the three major parties.”

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the opposition bloc had projected Uddhav Thackeray as its prime face. There have been no talks, according to MVA leaders, over who could be the chief ministerial face of the alliance. A section of Congress leaders believe that there is high possibility that the bloc partners will contest without projecting the chief minister face as the grand old party has solid chances of getting the highest number of seats out of all alliance partners, therefore will have the rightful claim to the top position.

Interestingly, if the opposition bloc rules out the projection of Shiv Sena’s figurehead Uddhav Thackeray as its chief ministerial face, political analysts suggest that the grand alliance may struggle to get expected number of votes from Hindus, which will help the BJP’s camp gain extra momentum on the narrative front. A political observer said, “Uddhav is a political grandee whose projection can cut more into votes of Hindus for the BJP and help the alliance get more votes.”

However, party insiders strongly believe that they will be easily able to pocket at least 150 assembly seats which is enough to form the government. A Congress leader said, “In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, we were the front runners in 152 Assembly seats and we are not in pursuit of getting at least 165 seats.”

A political analyst in the state said, “On the perception level, if we see who is going to be a better chief minister face before going for elections, it is for certain Uddhav Thackeray. He is an icon for a bigger chunk of people in Maharashtra. Congress doesn’t have a leader as big as Uddhav in the state. Sharad Pawar may be a big leader but age is not on his side. Moreover, what is on MVA side is it being united, we saw it in the Lok Sabha elections that there was friction on a number of seats but there was also a resolve at the top level that all the three partners will help each other resolve the issues unitedly.”

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