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MVA presents a united front, says it will contest Maharashtra polls as one unit

Jun 15, 2024 04:14 PM IST

Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, and senior Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat clarified that there is no "big brother" among them

MUMBAI: Buoyed by their success in the recent Lok Sabha elections, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) announced on Saturday that they would contest the upcoming state assembly elections together. The polls are scheduled to take place within the next four months. The top leadership of the three parties — Sharad Pawar of the NCP (SP), Uddhav Thackeray of the Shiv Sena (UBT), and senior Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat — clarified that there is no "big brother" among them and that they will decide the seat-sharing formula based on merit, discussing each assembly seat individually.

Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. HT Photo

"MVA coalition parties will contest Maharashtra assembly elections together. We will also take the smaller parties together for the polls," announced Thackeray during a joint media interaction.

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Chavan elaborated on the decision, stating, "Our preliminary discussion on the assembly polls has already taken place today. A decision has been taken to decide the seat-sharing formula based on merit, for which discussion for each and every seat will take place, and decisions will be taken accordingly."

He also emphasised that all three parties in the MVA coalition are equal. "There is no big or small brother. We will decide the sharing of the seats by considering each case," he said.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the MVA won 30 out of 48 seats, while the ruling alliance, Mahayuti, secured 17 seats. Among the MVA allies, the Congress won the maximum number of seats, 13, and also received support from MP Vishal Patil, who contested the polls as an independent from the Sangli Lok Sabha constituency.

Responding to the BJP's claim that the MVA had set a fake narrative against the ruling party during the elections, Thackeray questioned, "What was the narrative used by Modi? What about the 'snatching Mangalsutra' narrative? What about the 'taking away cows' narrative? Was it right?" He added that if they were to list all the promises and remarks made by PM Modi since 2014, it would be a lengthy endeavour.

Thackeray also clarified that those who left the party would not be welcomed back. "Those who left me will not be taken back in the party," he said in response to a query.

Pawar ruled out any possibility of taking his nephew, Ajit Pawar, back into his party. When informed that the RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, claimed that the BJP's brand value had depreciated after taking the Ajit Pawar-led NCP into the ruling Mahayuti alliance, the veteran leader remarked, "They must have shared their experience."

The MVA leaders expressed their gratitude to the people of India and Maharashtra for their support in the Lok Sabha elections. Thackeray also thanked citizen groups and several YouTube channels for their contributions.

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