Maha murmur as Uddhav seeks 23 seats in LS polls

We are firm to contest at least all our winning seats, though there is a split in the party and most MPs have joined  the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena,” said an Uddhav Thackeray loyalist.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut (PTI)
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut (PTI)

MUMBAI:  Differences have surfaced in the MVA alliance over the distribution of Lok Sabha seats for the 2024 general election. Shiv Sena (UBT) has demanded 23 seats out of the total 48 seats in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said he along with party leaders Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray met Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi during INDIA alliance meeting and put across the demand for certain numbers of seats.

A senior Sena (UBT) leader argued that in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party contested 23 seats and won 19. “However, we are ready to compromise, but that adjustment will not be drastic. We are firm to contest at least all our winning seats, though there is a split in the party and most MPs have joined  the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena,” said an Uddhav Thackeray loyalist.

“Our vote bank is intact, therefore, we are firm on our demand,” he added. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan emphasized mutual adjustment among the alliance partners of MVA. “It is true every party wants a larger share of seats. However, the demand for 23 seats by Shiv Sena is quite excessive. It is not linked to the situation on the ground and political reality,” said Chavan.

Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi which is trying to be a part of the MVA has posted on social media demanding 12 Lok Sabha seats while leaving 12 each to the other three – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. In the 2019 Lok Sabha, VBA did not win any parliamentary seat, but its presence resulted in the defeat of 7 Congress and NCP candidates, including two ex-CMs, Ashok Chavan and Sushil Kumar Shinde.

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