30 days away from polls, opposition divided

The Asian Age.  | Sonu Shrivastava

Metros, Mumbai

NCP not ready to leave Ahmednagar seat, Sujhe Vikhe-Patil to join BJP

Prakash Ambedkar

Mumbai: With less than a month to go for the four-phase Lok Sabha (LS) election in Maharashtra, there is still no clarity on major political parties’ alliances. While the grand alliance between the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is yet to happen, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader Prakash Ambedkar is not ready to join them.

Though the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine has cemented its alliance, their smaller allies are still unaware of their allotment of seats. It is also not clear if the Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil's son Sujay Vikhe-Patil will get a seat from the Congress while farmer leader Raju Shetti's stance is far from clear.

Sources in the Congress said that the NCP is not ready to let go of the Ahmednagar LS seat and, hence, Sujay Vikhe-Patil will join the BJP on Tuesday.

Congress general spok-esperson Sachin Sawant said, “We have already started our campaign. The discussion on the grand alliance will be concluded soon.”

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The election has been announced today. The alliance will materialise within the next two days.”

Maharashtra chief electoral officer (CEO) Ashwani Kumar said that a meeting has been held to explain the model code of conduct (MCC). As the election dates have been announced, the MCC has been invoked across the state. It will continue till May 27. The election would be held in four phases in Maharashtra. In the first phase, seven seats will go to the polls on April 11. In the second phase, voters will exercise their franchise at ten seats on April 18. In the third phase, the electorate will cast their vote at 14 seats on April 23, while in the fourth phase, polls will be held at 17 seats on April 29.  

Mr Kumar said 6 lakh personnel would be engaged in conducting the elections in the state. In addition to this, enough police personnel would be deployed during polls. said.