The MVA meeting at Pawar’s residence in Mumbai on Sunday, in the backdrop of both the SC order on the Shiv Sena split case and the Congress ousting BJP in Karnataka, decided that representatives of the three alliance partners will start, from this week, the formal negotiations aimed at hammering out their LS poll seat-sharing formula, people privy to the development said. The Congress central leadership is also in the loop of the talks. Incidentally, this is also the first MVA meeting since Pawar recently stirred the NCP pot with his resignation offer, right when talks were agog about a section of his party pushing for a tie-up with BJP.
Incidentally, to a media query on whether MVA would together fight the LS polls, Pawar had said at Amaravati on April 23: “Today, we are a part of the MVA and there is a willingness to work together. But desire alone is not always enough. Allotment of seats, whether there are any problems or not; all this has not been discussed yet. So, how can I tell you about this?” The MVA’s resolve now to start LS seat-sharing talks, therefore, is being interpreted as a step forward in cementing their unity against the BJP.
Maharashtra sends the second-largest LS contingent of 48 seats and BJP-(United) Shiv Sena had won 41 seats in the 2019 polls, leaving NCP with four and Congress with one and two Independents. The MVA meeting felt that Shiv Sena, led by Shinde, is fast losing steam. “Therefore, a united MVA with early preparation could mop up a larger chunk of LS seats in 2024 provided there is an early and realsitic seat-sharing pact,” said an MVA leader .
The meeting also decided to intensify campaign against the BJP-Shinde government, which includes demand for the Speaker deciding on the pending notice on disqualification of the Shinde group MLAs, as directed by SC, leaders said. MVA will also launch a campaign, accusing BJP-Shinde government of delaying BMC polls.