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Congress, NCP announce seat-sharing pact in Maharashtra

The combine has the support of 57 splinter groups in Maharashtra

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), with the support of 57 splinter groups, announced the launch of the United Progressive Grand Alliance for the Lok Sabha election.

The Congress has decided to contest 26 seats and NCP the remaining 22. The two senior partners will part with two seats each for their allies, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan said on Saturday.

Some groups expressed displeasure over not being given seats but still decided to support the alliance from the outside for the common objective of defeating “communal forces”.

Senior leaders of the alliance said their focus would be to find ways to channel the anger of the masses against the failed policies and divisive politics of the present government.

They said Maharashtra and the rest of the country were witnessing a deterioration of the constitutional and democratic values due to the ‘hate’ politics played by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies.

“They [the BJP and allies] have used all legal and illegal means to demolish the democratic institutions of the country. There is pressure on the media and our institutions, including the judiciary. To face these divisive forces, save the Constitution and give justice to the people, we have come together,” Mr. Chavan said.

The alliance leaders announced their commitment to accommodate on their allies in the Hatkanangale seat, which the NCP is vacating for Raju Shetti of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

The Congress will, meanwhile, vacate the Palghar seat for the Bahujan Vikas Agadhi. “We are in the process of taking a decision on the other two seats,” Mr. Chavan said.

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