Allies of both camps angry, now talks of Fourth Front

Soon after the BJP and Sena decided on a 25:23 seats-sharing formula, former chief minister Narayan Rane, who is the founder of Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha and a BJP-sponsored Rajya Sabha MP, stayed away and decided to field candidates in a dozen seats a
Allies of both the coalitions - Shiv Sena-BJP saffron combine and the Congress-NCP front - are concerned and anxious after not being considered during the seat-sharing talks.
 
This has made the contest for 48 seats of Maharashtra more interesting - which by all means are expected to be four-cornered, given the developing political situation. 

As far as the BJP-Shiv Sena are concerned, its allies are Mahadev Jankar of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Sadabhau Khot of Rayat Kranti Sanghatana, RPI’s Ramdas Athawale and Shiv Sangram Pratisthan’s Vinayak Mete. 

Soon after the BJP and Sena decided on a 25:23 seats-sharing formula, former chief minister Narayan Rane, who is the founder of Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha and a BJP-sponsored Rajya Sabha MP, stayed away and decided to field candidates in a dozen seats and contest alone. 

"There could be a Fourth Front also," said Jankar, a Dhangar leader, who is a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government. "We have demanded three seats including one from Mumbai but they are yet to revert," said Athawale, who is a minister in the Narendra Modi government. 

It may be recalled Athawale, Jankar, Khot and Mete had thrown their weight behind BJP-Sena during the 2014 polls and were part of the NDA coalition. 

On the other hand, the two allies who had confirmed support to the Congress-NCP front are the Jogendra Kawade-led People's Republican Party, Jayant Patil-led Peasants and Workers Party. From the agreed quota, Congress would contest 26 seats and NCP in 22 seats.

The Congress was in talks with Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh. However, talks have failed and Prakash Ambedkar has decided to go alone under the banner of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, which would contest in all the seats. The front has Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), several Dhangar, Dalit, Agri and Koli community groups.  So far, the Congress is yet to take a call on the offering seats to Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led BSP. 

On the other hand, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana founder, Raju Shetti had given a final call for the Congress and NCP to decide on the number of seats that they can offer.  In fact, Shetti in 2014 polls, was part of the NDA but quit later citing the government's stand on farmers. 

"We cannot wait any longer," said Ambedkar, the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. "We would be fielding 14 candidates," said Shetti. 

In a related development, Rane's son and Congress MLA Nitesh Rane met Jankar, however, the latter said that he was a friend and had dropped in his office.  "We are gauging the overall scene and would decide soon," he added.

According to sources, the allies of both the sides are in touch with each other, however, it is too early to predict any political fallout. 

 

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Allies of both camps angry, now talks of Fourth Front

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