1 Mar 2024

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Maha Vikas Aghadi Alliance Finalizes Seat Distribution in Maharashtra? How Many Seats Congress Will Contest?

Mumbai: The Maha Vikas Aghadi opposition alliance in Maharashtra has reached an agreement on the allocation of seats for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections, with an official announcement expected in the next few days, according to sources.

As per the arrangement, the Shiv Sena faction led by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will contest 20 out of the state's 48 seats, while the Congress will field candidates for 18 seats, and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) unit led by Sharad Pawar will be allocated the remaining 10 seats.

The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, a regional party that initially sought five seats, will now receive two from the Shiv Sena's share. Additionally, independent candidate Raju Shetty will be supported by Sharad Pawar's NCP.

Sources also indicate that the Shiv Sena will vie for four out of the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, with one, potentially the Mumbai North East seat, going to the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi.

Earlier reports suggested that talks for 39 seats had been successfully concluded, with some contention over seats in Mumbai's South Central and North West districts. How this dispute resolved remains unclear.

In the 2019 elections, the undivided Shiv Sena, allied with the BJP, contested 23 seats and secured victory in 18, including Mumbai South Central and North West. The Congress contested 25 seats and won only in Chandrapur, while Sharad Pawar's undivided NCP, which contested from 19 seats, secured victory in four.

The BJP dominated the 2019 polls, winning 23 out of the 25 seats it contested.

BJP will receive support from rebel factions of Shiv Sena and NCP

This time, the BJP will receive support from rebel factions of the Shiv Sena and NCP, led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, both of whom defected to the saffron outfit following internal revolts within their parties, believed to be orchestrated by the BJP.

The agreement follows Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's outreach to Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar, marking a significant step forward for the opposition bloc as they aim to finalize alliances ahead of the impending elections.

Established in June last year, the Congress-led opposition alliance has faced challenges in securing agreements, with state parties urging the national party to secure a more substantial share of seats. The Congress' recent electoral setbacks have further complicated the negotiation process.

Notable developments include the division of Uttar Pradesh's 80 seats between the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) in a 17:63 ratio, and the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reaching a pan-India accord. The Chandigarh mayoral election, where the Congress and AAP emerged victorious, is considered a turning point, despite the need for Supreme Court intervention against the Returning Officer's actions.

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