State Congress plans grand alliance in Maharashtra too | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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State Congress plans grand alliance in Maharashtra too

State Congress chief Ashok Chavan said the party was rooting for an alliance of all like-minded parties to avoid division of votes and give the BJP a befitting reply in the forthcoming elections

mumbai Updated: Jun 10, 2018 00:46 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times
Congress,Maharashtra Congress,Mumbai
The party leadership in the state has decided to discuss this state-level grand alliance proposition with Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his Mumbai visit on Tuesday.(HT FILE)

The state Congress unit has taken cue from the recently-concluded Karnataka polls and Palghar by poll. The party on Saturday has given a call for a grand alliance of all like-minded parties in the state for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections to be held next year during its core committee meeting. The alliance would consist of all Opposition parties in the Centre against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The party leadership in the state has decided to discuss this state-level grand alliance proposition with Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his Mumbai visit on Tuesday.

State Congress chief Ashok Chavan said the party was rooting for an alliance of all like-minded parties to avoid division of votes and give the BJP a befitting reply in the forthcoming elections. He said that the Congress expects all the opposition parties to respond positively to this endeavour.

Chavan said, “Overall the mood of the voters is against the BJP. 70% voting was against BJP in the Palghar by poll. Similarly, had the Congress, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and Janata Dal (Secular) contested Karnataka Assembly elections jointly, we could have won more than 180 seats.”

“In Maharashtra, our intent is to have only one candidate per constituency from the Opposition parties in the forthcoming elections. Rahulji will be appraised of this state-level resolution during his visit to Mumbai on June 12, to get his nod on the plan,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said.

The party also discussed potential seat sharing formula with its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and other probable partners including BSP, Samajwadi Party (SP), Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) and Swabhimani Paksha. The party is also hopeful of taking in local outfits like Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), which has its stronghold in Vasai, Virar and Nalasopara. “The seat-sharing formula and other modalities will be discussed once the decision on joining hands is taken,” Chavan said.

State Congress leaders also discussed their debacle in the Palghar by poll and legislative council elections held in local bodies constituencies.

A section of the leaders expressed their discontent over the non co-operation from NCP in the polls.

“In most of the recent polls, the NCP did not support our candidates wholeheartedly, resulting in their defeat. Our leaders are sceptical after the ‘back stabbing’ by NCP and have demanded for a greater trust -building between the allies,” said a leader, present in the meeting.

Read more: Will Congress reclaim lost ground in Maharashtra?

A section of party leaders were of the opinion that the party should have supported BVA candidate in Palghar by polls as was done in the last two LS elections to defeat the BJP candidate. Some leaders expressed displeasure over party’s bad show in legislative council’s elections from Amravati and Parbhani-Hingoli constituencies.

The last time the Congress stitched a similar grand alliance in the state was in 1998 Lok Sabha polls. Sharad Pawar, then leading the state Congress had brought together SP, Janata Dal, all factions of Republican Party of India (RPI) against the BJP and Sena. Congress had swept 33 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats then. In 1999, Pawar quit the Congress and formed his own party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Rahul Gandhi to visit Mumbai

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will address a rally of party’s booth level workers in Mumbai on Tuesday. The rally has been organized at Mumbai Exhibition Centre at Goregaon in the afternoon after his appearance in Bhiwandi court in a defamation case in morning.