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Last Updated : Aug 19, 2019 06:45 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

SP keen on tying up with Congress for Maharashtra Assembly polls, demands 3 seats: Report

During the Lok Sabha polls, SP had tied up with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Maharashtra, but had failed to secure even a single seat

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Samajwadi Party is looking to join hands with the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra, according to a report by DNA.

The report states that SP, which has one legislator in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, is insisting that the party be given at least three seats to contest.

According to the report, SP wants to capitalise on its electoral popularity with the Muslim community and is eager to make its presence felt in Mumbai and surrounding areas, where the Muslim community has significant numbers.

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"We are in negotiations with the Congress. Though we insist on getting 10 seats, we are willing to draw the line if we get at least three constituencies," a senior SP leader told the newspaper. These three seats, the leader said, include Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar, Byculla and Bhiwandi (East).

While Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar is represented by Abu Asim Azmi, SP's Maharashtra and Mumbai chief, Byculla is represented by Waris Pathan of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). According to the report, SP's Rais Shaikh, a corporator, is keen on contesting from Byculla. The Bhiwandi (East) constituency, meanwhile, is represented by Rupesh Mhatre of Shiv Sena.

"We will put forth rational demands to the Congress party to prevent division of secular votes... I am open to negotiating on numbers," Azmi said, adding, however, that the party will discuss seat-sharing only if it gets the three constituencies.

Azmi added that one of the problems in the arrangement is that Congress "lacked leadership and leaders who could take a decision". According to the report, this has resulted in multiple leaders speaking in different voices on the issue of seat-sharing.

During the Lok Sabha polls, SP had tied up with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Maharashtra, but had failed to secure even a single seat. According to reports, SP was keen on tying up with Congress during the general elections as well, but had been unable to finalise a seat-sharing arrangement. At that time, Azmi had reportedly said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress were birds of the same feather.

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First Published on Aug 19, 2019 06:45 pm
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