MUMBAI: The Maharashtra unit of Congress today said it was ready for a 'Maha Aghadi' (grand alliance) of like-minded parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Ashok Chavan told this to reporters after a meeting of senior party leaders held here today to take stock of the political situation in the state and discuss preparations for the 2019 polls.
He said the state party leaders considered the feedback earlier given by the office-bearers of district and divisional levels and decided then that the party was prepared for 'Maha Aghadi' (grand alliance) of the like-minded parties to take on the BJP.
"We are positive about having an alliance to ensure that the anti-BJP vote is not divided. In Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll, the BJP won due to division of the opposition votes," Chavan said.
"We will apprise party chief Rahul Gandhi about our decision during his visit to Mumbai next week. We will discuss the political situation in the state with him," he added.
He said now everything depends on how other parties respond to the proposal.
"At our meeting, we discussed strongholds of CPM, Samajwadi Party, BSP, RPI and how they can be accommodated in the alliance," Chavan said.
There was no discussion on seat sharing, the Congress leader said adding, "It is now up to the central leadership to take a call on the alliance."
When asked if parties like the Shiv Sena and the MNS, which are now anti-BJP, will be accommodated in the alliance, Chavan said his party had ideological differences with these two parties.
"There is no question of having an alliance with them," he said.
Chavan said the Congress would welcome the Bahujan Vikas Agadhi (BVA) into the alliance if the party wishes.
"The BVA was our ally when we were in power. But then it moved closer to the BJP," he said.
Senior party leaders Harshvardhan Patil, Balasaheb Thorat, Hussain Dalwai, Manikrao Thakre, Manikrao Jagtap, Vijay Waddetiwar, among others, were present.