Mumbai, May 23 () In a significant stance, Nationalist Congress Party’s Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar on Tuesday indicated that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies could initiate discussions for 25 of the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats initially as the Shiv Sena (UBT) had bagged 18 seats in 2019 elections.
Pawar Jr. said that recently, Sena (UBT) President and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had expressed a desire to retain all the (18) seats, including three in Mumbai, his party had bagged in 2019 when it had contested in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Accordingly, I feel there should be a discussion first on the remaining seats on which I don’t anticipate much problems… However, the final decision shall be taken only by the top leaders of all the parties,” said Ajit Pawar, talking to media persons.
He admitted that during the talks, there may be varying views even on the 25 parliamentary seats, but the senior leaderships of the three parties would consider everything before making any final decision, that would be binding on all.
Notching its best ever performance in 2019, the BJP had won 23 seats, its former Shiv Sena netted 18, and on the Opposition side, NCP four, Congress, AIMIM and an independent supported by the saffron alliance had bagged one constituency each (total 48) as the NDA was returned to power at the Centre.
Nevertheless, even as his statement sent a wave of relief among the MVA allies, Ajit Pawar made it clear that “no formula has been evolved so far on the issue of seat-sharing” and junked all media speculation in this regard.
The media has been agog with various number crunchers of the purported MVA ‘formulae’ – like 16-16-16, 19-17-12, 20-16-12 but the top leaders of the three parties, including Sharad Pawar, Nana Patole and Sanjay Raut have outrightly dismissed them as ‘kite-flying’ indulged in by vested interests.