Days after the BJP and Shiv Sena confirmed that the two parties will form an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha as well as state elections later this year, the Congress said that there was no place for the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the proposed alliance of opposition parties for Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.
This has been conveyed to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), said Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan.
"We have ideological differences with MNS, and any kind of electoral tie-up with it would be difficult," the Congress leader told reporters.
The Sharad Pawar-led NCP wanted the Raj Thackeray-led MNS in the alliance, sources said. Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar had also met MNS chief Raj Thackeray a few days ago.
Ashok Chavan also said the Congress was awaiting the response from Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, whom the Congress and NCP have offered four Lok Sabha seats in the state ahead of the polls.
Prakash Ambedkar and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who have joined hands for the coming polls, are set to hold a huge rally at Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai on Saturday.
"We want Ambedkar to be part of our alliance so that the BJP does not benefit (from division of votes)," Chavan added.
He furthermore criticised the city authorities for not allowing the Congress party to hold a rally of party chief Rahul Gandhi at Shivaji Park while giving permission to others.
"All city grounds should be made available to all the parties. It looks like the government is not interested in being fair to all," the Congress leader said.
"We have organised Rahul Gandhi's rally at the MMRDA ground in Mumbai and another rally in Dhule (in north Maharashtra) on March 1," Chavan added.
Meanwhile, on February 18, BJP chief Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced alliance in Maharashtra for the upcoming polls. Following a meeting between the chief's of the two parties, they decided to keep aside their small differences and work together for the polls.
(With PTI inputs)