Seat sharing, ticket distribution to pose big challenges to alliances ahead of Assembly polls in Maharashtra

The state has a long history of parties forming pre-poll alliances to wrest power.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 22:30 IST

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Mumbai: Their complex composition and diverse political goals are likely to pose challenges to the partners of the ruling Maha Yuti and Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi during the sharing of seats ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections due in October.

Seat sharing and ticket distribution are likely to be far more challenging for both the alliances than the arrangement during the Lok Sabha polls due to the anticipated crossover of senior leaders and legislators between both sides in the run up to the Vidhan Sabha polls.

"From two alliances each comprising two major parties in 2019 to two alliances each constituting three major parties in 2024, the political scenario in the state has changed significantly. The seat-sharing is not going to be easy. In many cases, it will linger till the day of filing of nominations," said Prakash Akolkar, a veteran political commentator. 

The state has a long history of parties forming pre-poll alliances to wrest power.

In 1990, Shiv Sena under the leadership of late Balasaheb Thackeray and BJP spearheaded by Pramod Mahajan and Gopinath Munde had come together to contest the polls together. Similarly, Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP came together in 1999 when the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held together. 

Barring 2014, when the Shiv Sena-BJP and the Congress-NCP partnerships broke, these alliances contested polls together.

"Now you have two Shiv Senas and two NCPs. Things have changed drastically. There will be a lot of give and take," said Ajit Joshi, a journalist-writer. "There was a broad understanding on many issues, however, now things have to be looked afresh. There are many aspirants.”

While Sena rebel Eknath Shinde and his team carry the original party symbol, the opposite camp led by Uddhav Thackeray and his team have their morales high after their impressive performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

Similarly, while the Ajit Pawar-led NCP has the official tag, the opposite NCP (SP) faction led by party founder Sharad Pawar is high on confidence after trouncing most of their rival candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, including in the Pawar family bastion Baramati.  

For Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar, the upcoming Assembly election is going to be the real test of their claims that they lead the 'real' Shiv Sena and NCP, respectively. On the other hand, an election debacle could lead to massive desertions in the camps of Shinde as well as Ajit Pawar, questioning the political future of the two leaders. 

Out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state, the MVA bagged 30 seats, with Congress emerging as the topper. Maha Yuti faced drubbing in many seats and had to satisfy itself with 17 seats. The remaining one seat was won by a Congress rebel who has pledged support to his parent party. 

It is yet to be seen how the Lok Sabha poll performance of each party will factor in on the seat-sharing arrangements during the Assembly polls.

Published 24 June 2024, 22:30 IST

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