Final touches to two alliances in M'rashtra this week

Maharashtra accounts for 48 seats- the second largest after Uttar Pradesh

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during the launch of Industrial Policy 2019, in Mumbai, Tuesday, March 05, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shirish Shete)

The ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine and the Opposition Congress-NCP front will give finishing touches to the two respective mega alliances in Maharashtra this week.

With the Election Commission of India announcing the schedule for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,  the two alliances are trying to rope in as many smaller parties as possible. 
Maharashtra accounts for 48 seats - the second largest after Uttar Pradesh - and for both, the BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led Mahagathbandhan. 
As regards the BJP-Sena saffron alliance - often referred to as 'Mahayuti',  the two NDA allies,  the BJP is going to contest 25 seats and Sena 23 -as it was decided in a meeting last month between BJP president Amit Shah, his Shiv Sena counterpart Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The RPI (Athawale) led by union minister of state for social welfare Ramdas Athawale - who along with Mahadev Jankar's Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Vinayak Mete's Shiv Sangram, has asked for three Lok Sabha seats. However,  the Sena and BJP are yet to respond to the demand. 
As far as the 'Mahaaghadi', comprising Congress and NCP,  the Prof Jogendra Kawade-led People's Republican Party and Jayant Patil-led Peasent's and Worker's Party have extended support. 
However,  both Congress and NCP have approached Prakash Ambedkar,  who along with Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM,  had launched Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi,  which has several Dalit,  tribal,  Muslim,  Dhangar,  Koli and Agri community leaders as members. Ambedkar has asked for 12 seats from the Congress-NCP but they have committed only four seats.  
On the other hand,  Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana's Raju Shetti - who last time was part of NDA and later split - has asked for 15 seats and has given two days time to Congress-NCP to take a final call. 
The Congress and Sharad Pawar-led NCP is yet to take a decision whether or not to offer seats to Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan and his NCP counterpart Jayant Patil and other senior leaders are in touch with various smaller parties.
On his part,  Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray has said that he would announce his stand in the next few days.
Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha led by former chief minister Narayan Rane, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from BJP quota, has decided to go alone after the Sena-BJP tie-up and would field candidates in a dozen places.
Leaders of various political parties to whom DH spoke to said that they would start announcing candidates from the end of this week - after clarity on the stands and demands of smaller groups.

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Final touches to two alliances in M'rashtra this week


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