Talks with like-minded parties to get over by Jan end: Congress

Thane | Maharashtra Congress on Friday said the seat-sharing talks with the like-minded parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections would get over by the end of this month.

Ashok Chavan, president of the Maharashtra unit of Congress, while addressing a press conference here, also said the district committees were submitting names of the aspiring candidates, which would be examined by the state committee at its meeting on January 29-30 and forwarded to the AICC for its approval.

“At any cost, discussions with eight to nine parties will finish by the end of this month…There are no differences between the NCP and the Congress and only discussions on seat sharing have been taking place,” he said.

On the alliance with Prakash Amedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), Chavan said, “We have categorically told them that as long MIM is there, Congress will not be a part of join hands with it.”

“But now since (MIM chief Asaduddin) Owaisi has said that his party does not want a seat from the Congress, we will once again start discussions with Ambedkar,” he said.

Ambedkar Thursday gave a six-day ultimatum to the Congress for an alliance proposal. He has demanded 12 Lok Sabha seats from the Congress in the state which has 48 Parliamentary constituencies.

Chavan also ruled out a tie-up with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the upcoming elections. “It will never happen,” he said.

In response to a query, he said the Shiv Sena and the BJP cannot afford to go solo in the upcoming polls.

“The BJP-government wooed the Sena by giving Rs 100 crore for the Balasaheb Thackeray memorial and is also ready to name the Samruddhi Mahamarg after the late Sena supremo,” he said.

“The Shiv Sena is certainly afraid of the BJP as after the Lok Sabha elections the BJP will show its true colours, which will adversely affect the Sena,” Chavan added.

Asked if the Congress was prepared for simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and the state assembly, he said it would not make any difference to his party as it was prepared.

When asked whether Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s formal entry into politics would benefit the party, he said, “It will certainly have a positive impact on the party workers as she reminds us of Indira Gandhi.”

Chavan dismissed the report that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will contest election from Nanded.

On “Thackeray”, a biopic on late Balasaheb Thackeray, he said, “The timing of the film’s release is aimed at gaining political mileage.”

“The fate of almost all the proposed memorials in the state is hanging in balance. But the memorial of Balasaheb Thackeray, who was a great man, should not face any hurdles,” he said.

Chavan was speaking to media at the conclusion of the Konkan leg of the party’s ‘Sangarsha Yatra’, which ended in Bhiwandi in the district.

“Although the Yatra has concluded, the party’s agitation against the government will continue. There is a clear-cut anger among the people against the BJP government, which has failed on all the fronts,” he said.

“Every decision taken by the BJP government has failed. It is not ‘Make in India’, but ‘Fake in India’,” he said.

Chavan urged people not to fall prey to the “empty and false” promises of the BJP government, and defeat it in the elections.

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