Cong wants 'friendly fights' on 6 Lok Sabha seats, says its leader; it will help BJP, retorts Raut

Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan has said the unilateral announcement of candidates by the Shiv Sena (UBT) had angered his party workers and the state unit was keen on "friendly fights" in six Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan
Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan

Mumbai | Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan has said the unilateral announcement of candidates by the Shiv Sena (UBT) had angered his party workers and the state unit was keen on "friendly fights" in six Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

The Congress, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) comprise the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

Speaking on Friday, Khan said, "We met today and decided to communicate to the central leadership that we will have friendly fights on six seats, namely Sangli, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai North-West. The manner in which Shiv Sena (UBT) announced candidates on seats claimed by Congress has angered our party workers."

The Shiv Sena (UBT) on Wednesday announced its candidates for 17 seats, including Sangli, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai North-West.

The Sena (UBT) has announced that it would contest 22 seats out of the total 48 in the state. However, the Thackeray-led party's decision to announce candidates sparked tension in the MVA with the Congress objecting to the move and calling for the allies to stick to "coalition dharma".

Reacting to Khan's demand, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said such fights would help the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Taking a swipe at its MVA ally, he said, "Congress is a mature party and I don't think it will allow friendly fights to help the BJP."

In a sarcastic vein, he said such friendly fights should happen on all 48 seats in Maharashtra as well as in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Raut asserted there will be no discussion on seats anymore.

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