Congress rejects Uddhav Sena's 23-seat demand in Maharashtra

Congress has rejected Shiv Sena (UBT)'s demand for 23 seats in Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections next year, according to senior leaders privy to the seat-sharing negotiations.
Congress rejects Uddhav Sena's 23-seat demand in Maharashtra
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Congress has rejected ally Shiv Sena (UBT)'s demand for 23 seats in Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections next year. The development came after leaders met to discuss seat sharing among the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi partners -- Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress and NCP -- for the Lok Sabha polls.

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Congress rejects Uddhav Sena's 23-seat demand in Maharashtra

The Shiv Sena, split into two factions, laid claim to 23 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra, despite the majority of its members siding with Eknath Shinde. Uddhav Thackeray's faction of the Shiv Sena faces a significant challenge as it lacks sufficient candidates due to the party's division, said Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam.

Congress representatives at the meeting made it clear that the grand old party appears to be the only one with a stable vote share in the state, following splits in the Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar's NCP.

Former Chief Minister and senior Maharashtra Congress leader Ashok Chavan said there was a need for adjustment among the parties. “While every party desires a larger share of seats, the demand for 23 seats by the Shiv Sena was excessive given the current circumstances," he said.

Sanjay Nirupam said leaders should avoid conflicts on winning seats. "Shiv Sena may demand 23 seats, but what will they do with them? Shiv Sena's leaders have left, causing a crisis. Lack of candidates is a problem for Shiv Sena."

Last week, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said he, along with party leaders Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray, held talks with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, senior leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as well as AICC general secretary K C Venugopal before the recent meeting of the Opposition bloc INDIA.

Raut did not say anything about the number of seats the Congress and NCP would contest.

In 2019, the undivided Shiv Sena was part of the BJP-led NDA alliance. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is now part of the MVA, which includes the Congress and the NCP.

In June 2022, Eknath Shinde and 40 other MLAs revolted against the Shiv Sena leadership, leading to a split in the party and collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

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Congress rejects Uddhav Sena's 23-seat demand in Maharashtra

Shinde then joined hands with the BJP to form the government in the state.

Source: India Today

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