MVA’s LS seats deal: SS(UBT) grabs lion’s share, Sharad Pawar settles with least

Mumbai: Ending over two months of suspense and long-drawn negotiations, the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) finally achieved its crucial seat-sharing agreement for 48 Lok Sabha constituencies, here on Tuesday.

Under the formula, on expected lines the Shiv Sena (UBT) has cornered the lion’s share of 21 LS seats, including four in Mumbai; the Congress has got 17, including two in India’s commercial capital, while the Nationalist Congress Party (SP) has settled for 10 seats with nothing in the country’s glam hub.

The seat distribution break-down is:

Shiv Sena (UBT) — 21: Jalgaon, Parbhani, Nashik, Palghar, Kalyan, Thane, Raigad, Maval, Osmanabad, Ratnagiri, Buldhana, Hatkanangle, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Shirdi, Sangli, Hingoli, Yavatmal-Washim, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North West, Mumbai South, Mumbai North East.

Congress — 17: Nandurbar, Dhule, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Chandrapur, Nanded, Jalna, Mumbai North, Mumbai North Central, Pune, Latur, Solapur. Kolhapur, Ramtek.

NCP (SP) — 10: Baramati, Shirur, Satara, Bhiwandi, Dindori, Madha, Raver, Wardha, Ahmednagar South, Beed.

The announcement was made in the presence of all the other MVA allies including smaller parties like PWP, CPI, AAP, CPM, SP and other Dalit parties.

After aggressive posturing by all parties, the MVA main partners have also smoothly negotiated certain contentious seats like Sangli, Mumbai, Satara, Bhiwandi and others, with reluctant give-and-take or ‘magnanimous sacrifices’ by all three allies.

The SS (UBT) got Sangli which it desperately coveted, the NCP (SP) got the Bhiwandi seat that all parties wanted, while the Congress got two of at least three seats it demanded in Mumbai.

However, none of the other smaller allies in the MVA-INDIA bloc got a single seat and they have reportedly agreed to work for the bigger parties to ensure defeat for the ruling MahaYuti-NDA alliance Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Nationalist Congress Party candidates in the state.

This is expected to pave the way for a direct contest among the main alliances — the MVA-INDIA bloc and the ruling MahaYuti-NDA.

However, the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has decided to field candidates in many of the 48 LS seats, which could upset the apple cart either way for the two prime contender groups.

While the main contenders have already finalised/announced their candidates for a majority of the LS constituencies, the rest shall be done in the coming few days, the MVA leaders assured.

Pawar said that there was no difference on any seat, while Thackeray appreciated the smaller parties for not building pressures on the alliance to “contest seats in view of the larger aim to save democracy”.

IANS

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