Chances of united Opposition in Assembly polls slim

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

The VBA got more than 41 lakh votes across the state and ruined chances of the Congress-NCP in about nine seats.

NCP leaders at the Opposition meeting held on Tuesday. (Photo: ASIAN AGE)

Mumbai: Leaders of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have indicated that chances of a united Opposition against the Bharatiya Janata Party-Sena alliance in Maharashtra for the Vidhan Sabha polls are too slim.

On Tuesday, they held a meeting along with their smaller allies to review the Lok Sabha results. In the meeting, it was decided that the alliance will not have any understanding with either the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) or the Prakash Ambedkar and Asaduddin Owaisi-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).

In the Lok Sabha polls, the VBA got more than 41 lakh votes across the state and ruined chances of a Congress-NCP alliance in at least nine seats apart from winning one seat themselves.

Mr Thackeray campaigned aggressively against the BJP-Sena alliance and sought votes for the Congress-NCP in the recently concluded elections.

The state elections are expected to be held in October this year. “We discussed the Lok Sabha poll results and the upcoming Assembly polls. In general, we agreed to come together. But we are yet to discuss things in detail and take the final decision,” said state Congress chief Ashok Chavan.

Asked if Opposition parties would approach the VBA to be part of the grand alliance for the Assembly polls, Mr Chavan said that it depended on whether the Aghadi leaders were willing to join forces with the Opposition. "The main issue is whether they are willing to be part of the grand alliance. We had tried last time, but they did not come together," he added.

Mr Chavan said that there was no discussion on taking the MNS along for the Assembly polls.

However, state Congress spokesperson Ratnakar Mahajan had earlier said that there will be no truce with the VBA or the MNS for the upcoming Assembly elections. "We maintain that VBA is the B team of the BJP and the MNS has no influence over voters,” he said.