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Maharashtra: Sena, NCP to fight local bodies’ polls together

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP and party's chief spokesperson, said that the Sena and NCP will fight the polls together and a formula has been decided for it.

The Shiv Sena and NCP have decided to fight the local bodies polls together while the Congress is yet to decide on it. Sources said that the decision on the alliance for the polls will be taken considering the local political situation and with an aim to keep the BJP away.

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP and party’s chief spokesperson, said that the Sena and NCP will fight the polls together and a formula has been decided for it. “The elections will be fought under the leadership of a party which has a stronghold in that city. We will also hold talks with the Congress to take it along with us,” said Raut.

The Sena leader further mentioned that while the party has a strong presence in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and other places, the NCP is strong in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad where the elections will be fought under NCP’s leadership. “We will try to fight the polls together wherever possible,” said Raut.

Elections to 10 municipal corporations and 26 zilla parishads will be held in the state in the first quarter of 2022. The 10 municipal corporations include BMC, Thane, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Solapur and Nagpur among others. As these elections will take place in the middle of MVA’s term in office, they are likely to be seen as a test of the government’s performance. NCP minister Nawab Malik said, “The decisions on the alliance will be taken considering it does not benefit the BJP.”

A leader from NCP said it means the parties may fight the polls independently in some places to ensure that it does not benefit the BJP. “It is not possible to contest polls together in all local bodies. If we contest together, some of our candidates may not get tickets and may go to BJP. So, it will help BJP which we won’t allow it to happen. So, we will contest separately in some places. We will coordinate with each other to ensure that the MVA retains power in most of the local bodies. This will not only help us to retain power but will also ensure that one of the MVA allies will be in opposition that includes BMC,” said an NCP leader.

While the Congress has announced that it wants to fight on all 227 seats, the party has called the state Congress’s parliamentary board meeting to discuss the strategy for the elections to the upcoming five municipal corporations such as Navi Mumbai, Kalyan Dombivali, Vasai-Virar, Kolhapur and Aurangabad. “The decision on whether to fight the polls solo or with the alliance will be taken based on what decisions are taken in this meeting,” said a Congress leader.

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