The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will fight about 123-125 seats each and leave 41 constituencies for smaller allies in the upcoming state polls, former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Tuesday.
He added that seats may be swapped based on consensus between the two major opposition parties. “Talks are on talks with the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (of Prakash Ambedkar), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Samajwadi Party. If alliance talks work out, 41 seats would be allocated to smaller allies,” he said.
Chavan, however, stressed that the VBA’s demand that the Congress severe ties with the NCP cannot be accepted. With a steady inflow of leaders from various parties into the BJP, Chavan accused the ruling dispensation of misusing power to finish off the opposition.
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“Political parties are at the heart of parliamentary democracy, but now this is under threat. There is an attempt to take the country towards one-party rule which the country briefly experienced during Emergency,” he alleged.
Against the backdrop of the arrest of former Union minister P Chidambaram and Karnakata ex-minister DK Shivakumar, Chavan said the BJP was trying to terrorise opposition leaders to force them to join it.
Speaking about the induction of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Jaydutt Kshirsagar and Avinash Mahatekar into the Fadnavis cabinet, Chavan said 91st Constitutional amendment, made during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2003, had clarified that even if an MLA quits the Assembly and joins another party, he cannot be made a minister.
“We have filed a petition in High Court challenging appointment of three such ministers. The judgement is likely tomorrow,” he said.