While the Congress leadership is advocating for “friendly contests” in certain Lok Sabha constituencies, the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, has rejected the proposal, emphasising the need for parties in INDIA alliance to present a united front against the BJP.

There is discontent among Congress leaders as the Shiv Sena has announced a list of 17 candidates without waiting for further discussions with the NCP (led by Sharad Pawar) and the Congress.

The Congress is pushing for friendly contests in Sangli, Mumbai South-Central, Mumbai North-West, and Bhiwandi seats. However, the Shiv Sena’s camp has conveyed to the Congress leadership that such contests could send the wrong message to the alliance workers and have repercussions in other constituencies.