Senior leaders from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) confirmed Monday that the two parties have agreed to share 45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.
Two of the three remaining seats were contested by the Congress in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which the two parties contested as an alliance before they parted ways for the subsequent Assembly elections. These include Nandurbar in North Maharashtra, a traditional Congress stronghold, and Aurangabad in Marathwada.
According to senior Congress leaders, the Nandurbar seat also has an emotional and historical significance for India’s grand old party — the UPA even launched several marquee development initiatives from this tribal-dominated constituency.
With the NCP staking a claim on this constituency, there are speculation that former NCP minister Vijay Kumar Gavit, who had switched over to the BJP ahead of the 2014 polls, may be on his way back to Sharad Pawar’s party.
The state Congress leadership however is opposed to vacating this seat for the NCP.
Former NDA ally Raju Shetti’s Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghthana (SSS) is also likely to join hands with the Congress and NCP, and so is the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
The Congress and the NCP are also keen to involve Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharatiya Republican Party Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) in the umbrella alliance.