Will NCP and MNS go it together?

P. Manoj |Rahul Wadke | | Updated on: Feb 19, 2019
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After the BJP and the Shiv Sena put aside old rivalries and tied up up for the Lok Sabha elections, all eyes are now on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) possibly aligning with the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

But there is a catch, as the Grand Old Party does not want the NCP to enter into a pre-poll alliance with the MNS.

Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar had a closed-door meeting with Thackeray last week. Pawar, after the meeting, had told reporters that the decision on the alliance with MNS would be taken by the senior leaders of both the parties.

NCP’s spokesperson Nawab Mallik told BusinessLine that, in the party’s view, after taking the Congress into confidence, the MNS should be included in a pre-poll alliance. But no final decision has been taken. Tomorrow there is a party meeting in Nanded.

Also read: BJP, Shiv Sena to contest Lok Sabha, Assembly polls jointly

However, General Secretary of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, Sachin Sawant, said the Congress had conveyed to the top leadership of the NCP that a pre-poll partnership with the MNS was not a feasible idea.

The Congress had done a SWOT analysis of the MNS, where the threats outweighed the strengths, he said.

Division of votes

Senior political analyst Nagesh Kesari pointed out that MNS may not be useful for winning seats but for divisions of votes, which could provide an edge to the Congress-NCP alliance. Raj Thackeray is an excellent orator and has an appeal among the rural and urban youth.

Political commentator Nilu Damle said: “Till yesterday, Shiv Sena was continuously attacking the BJP, but today they have a pre-poll alliance. In the same way, the Congress-NCP-MNS alliance is possible because of political expediency. These alliances are also an indication that none of the political parties in Maharashtra has a dedicated voter base in a particular area.”

He added that the MNS has mischief value, which might help in the anti-Modi alliance.

Published on February 19, 2019

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