Updated March 27th, 2024 at 18:05 IST

Double Jolt to INDI: Ambedkar Quits Alliance, Maharashtra Congress Warns of Rebellion

Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) constituents Congress, Sena (UBT) and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) have been holding seat-sharing discussions for the 48 constituencies

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray | Image: PTI/File
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Mumbai: Ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections, the Opposition's INDI alliance has suffered two major jolts in a single day signalling collapse of Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra.

Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) constituents Congress, Sena (UBT) and NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) have been holding seat-sharing discussions for the 48 constituencies in Maharashtra, where the Lok Sabha polls will be held in five phases starting April 19. Amid the seat-sharing talks, Uddhav Thackeray announced candidates for 17 Lok Sabha seats including the ones on which Congress has been staking claim- Sangli and Mumbai seats.

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Prakash Ambedkar quits INDI Alliance

Amid seat-sharing talks, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar quit the alliance. Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar, announced the names of eight candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, including himself from the Akola constituency.

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Ambedkar on Wednesday accused the MVA allies of trying to use his outfit to promote dynastic politics."They (the MVA parties were trying to use VBA for promoting dynastic politics which we have tried to resist," Ambedkar said.

He also alleged that the MVA allies were refusing to consider the factor of Maratha activist Manoj Jarange. While Jarange has announced support to VBA candidates in the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections.

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“There is a difference between what you say and say. It appears that you deliberately kept us entangled. We will go to the Dalit community and tell them about the injustice you have done,” said Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anand Dubey on VBA snubbing MVA. 

Maharashtra Unit Asks Congress To Break Alliance With Sena

Maharashtra Congress on Wednesday objected to the Shiv Sena (UBT) announcing its candidates for the Bhiwandi, Mumbai South Central and Sangli Lok Sabha seats. The state Congress leadership said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners must stick to "coalition dharma".

"Discussion was ongoing, on the seats of Sangli, Bhiwandi and South Central Mumbai. In such a situation, how can candidates' names be announced in a one-sided manner. This issue will be discussed in the next meeting of Mahavikas Aghadi," Thorat said.

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While Congress Legislature Party leader Balasaheb Thorat urged Sena (UBT) to reconsider its decision of announcing candidates on seats being claimed by Congress leaders, Sanjay Nirupam adopted a more belligerent stand, attacking their leadership for letting the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit grab most of the seats in Mumbai.

Nirupam, who is keen to contest the Mumbai North West parliamentary constituency, alleged that attempts are being made by alliance partners to “bury” the Congress in Mumbai and the party will pay a price for it. “I give my leaders a week's time to decide,” he said. Sena (UBT) is likely to field a candidate in Mumbai North as well, leaving only Mumbai North Central for the Congress in the megapolis.
 

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Published March 27th, 2024 at 18:05 IST