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Despite Lok Sabha debacle, Opposition in Maharashtra to fight Assembly polls together

first_imgThe Opposition parties on Tuesday agreed to keep their alliance on track for the Assembly polls due later this year, despite the drubbing it received by the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra. “We reflected on the Lok Sabha poll results and discussed the Assembly polls. We, in general, agreed to come together. We are yet to discuss things in detail and take final decision,” Maharashtra Congress committee president Ashok Chavan told reporters after the meeting.The Congress leader, who lost from Nanded, blamed the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) formed by Prakash Ambedkar and AIMIM for the defeat of the opposition alliance. He said the situation would have been better had the VBA joined the anti-BJP parties.Asked whether opposition would approach the VBA for an alliance, Mr. Chavan said, “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 however added that there was no discussion on aligning with Raj Thackeray-led MNS for the Assembly polls.He also said that the BJP was trying to poach Congress and NCP legislators, but would not succeed. Asked whether senior party leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil is joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said, “Technically, he (Vikhe Patil) is still a member of the Congress. It is likely he may join the ruling party. I don’t think our MLAs will join the BJP. The BJP is trying to poach Congress or NCP MLAs. But I don’t think it will happen, we are being alert,” he added.Meanwhile, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti, who also attended the meeting, said he met Mr. Thackeray earlier in the day.“We shared our views. He had addressed a rally for me during the Lok Sabha polls. Hence, I met him after coming here,” said Mr. Shetti, who lost from Hatkanangale. The meeting was also attended by NCP leaders Jayant Patil, Ajit Pawar and Dhananjay Munde, CPI leader Prakash Reddy, Ashok Dhawale of the CPI(M) and the Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi.last_img read more