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The Hindu
The Hindu

‘No confusion...,’ Supriya Sule on seat-sharing among INDIA bloc allies

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule on January 1 ruled out any internal confusion on the over-the-seat sharing issue for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, saying that a lot of things about seat sharing were clarified in a meeting between Sonia Gandhi, Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar.

This comes amid a tug-of-war between Congress and the Shiv Sena (UBT) over seat sharing. “There is no confusion internally. There was a meeting between Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Thackeray and Mr. Pawar in Delhi 15 days ago. A lot of things about seat sharing were clarified in that meeting. The information will be officially announced in the next 8-10 days,” Ms. Sule told reporters on Jan. 1.

“There will be ups and downs in the seat-sharing formula as we are in alliance, so this will happen,” Ms. Sule said. When asked about the role of Prakash Ambedkar in the INDIA bloc, she said that he will definitely play an important role in the alliance.

Earlier, former Lok Sabha MP Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, reiterated his interest in joining the MVA and INDIA alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. VBA (Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi) president Prakash Ambedkar, in his letter to Mallikarjun Kharge, Mr. Pawar and Mr. Thackeray, stressed the need to adopt his proposed formula of 12 seats for each party. He termed the “12+12+12+12 formula” as a ‘conflict-free’ plan to decide on the number of seat sharing in the state.

Emphasising that ‘defeating Modi should be the only priority for MVA’, Mr. Prakash Ambedkar, in his letter, mentioned that the “VBA desires that the parties within the MVA- Shiv Sena [Uddhav Thackeray], Nationalist Congress Party, Indian National Congress and VBA should fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together and on an equal number of seats as equal partners”.

Meanwhile, amid debate and discussion in the MVA over seat sharing between parties of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Shiv Sena (UBT) has demanded 23 seats out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

UBT Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “I had said that Congress will have to start from zero, I did not say that Congress is zero. Congress does not have a single MP in Maharashtra. We had 18 MPs but some left and we’ve 6 MPs now. Our alliance is there with the Congress and Maha Vikas Aghadi will win around 40 seats. BJP needs EVMs to win, they cannot win alone. Their alliance is with EVM...”

However, the Congress party, in reply to the demand of Shiv Sena (UBT), said that seat sharing is a complicated subject and the decision can’t be taken easily. “If all parties in the INDIA block need to fight together and defeat the BJP, then we need to stop infighting. From the newspaper, I got to know that Shiv Sena has demanded 23 seats, which is a lot,” said Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam.

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be held next year and are likely to be between the Modi government’s NDA alliance and the INDIA bloc.

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