Maharashtra’s Lok Sabha Election Seat Sharing Turmoil: CM Eknath Shinde under Pressure, Government’s Fate Hangs in Balance

Once again, Maharashtra’s political landscape is heating up ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The state is witnessing a brewing political crisis within both major alliances, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the NDA, comprising parties like Shiv Sena, NCP led by Ajit Pawar, and BJP, over the allocation of seats. 

The formula for seat sharing remains elusive amidst the standoff between these factions. The tension is palpable as pressure mounts on leaders and parties to find a resolution amidst this impasse.

Internal Rifts Emerge as Maharashtra’s Political Scenario Unfolds

As the political landscape in Maharashtra evolves, internal divisions among allies have come to the forefront. Tensions escalated when Shiv Sena, under Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership, announced the candidature for Mumbai-North West Lok Sabha seat, sparking ire from Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. 

Nirupam voiced his frustration, labeling the move as a breach of coalition ethics or an attempt to undermine his party. This incident underscores the fragility of alliances and the struggle for dominance within the state’s political spectrum.

Congress and Uddhav Coalition at Odds

Discussions on seat allocation between the constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – Shiv Sena (under Uddhav Thackeray), NCP (led by Sharad Pawar), and Congress – are ongoing. Uddhav Thackeray has nominated Amol Kirtikar for the Mumbai-Northwest Lok Sabha seat. Amol’s father, Gajanan Kirtikar, is currently Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s representative from Shiv Sena at the Lok Sabha. 

Sanjay Nirupam is discontented as they lost the Mumbai-Northwest Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 general elections. He expressed his frustration on social media, emphasizing the delay in reaching a seat-sharing agreement within the MVA despite numerous meetings. Nirupam urged the Congress leadership to intervene in the matter.

Intense Pressure Mounts on CM Shinde

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, leading the coalition government of three parties in Maharashtra, is facing escalating pressure from within his own alliance. The BJP has asserted its claims in seven meetings, where Shiv Sena’s MPs, representing Shinde’s faction, have not yielded even a single seat to the BJP. Representatives from Ramtek, Yavatmal-Washim, and Kolhapur have been particularly vocal in pressuring the CM, refusing to allocate their seats to the BJP. 

Notably, not only the BJP but also Ajit Pawar’s NCP has been asserting its claims in several meetings, despite Shinde’s camp holding sway.

Ajit Pawar Pushes for Maval and Parbhani Lok Sabha Seats

Ajit Pawar is eyeing the Maval and Parbhani Lok Sabha seats, currently held by Shiv Sena’s MPs under Shinde’s faction. Amidst this political crisis, supportive leaders are heading to Delhi today to meet BJP leadership. It is speculated that seat-sharing could be finalized during these discussions. Ajit Pawar has stated that on Monday, all three parties will submit their proposals, paving the way for the conclusion of the seat-sharing deal.

Niyati Rao

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