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Pawar Sets Cat Among Pigeons, Hints At Aggressive Stance On Assembly Seat Sharing

Senior leader Sharad Pawar has set a cat among the pigeons by his oblique dissatisfaction about the seat sharing within the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) for the Lok Sabha election. “Our party should have obtained more seats but I capitulated in the interest of the MVA unity,” Pawar said at a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) meeting on Friday. Without elaborating, he asked his followers to work harder for the coming assembly election. Known for his tongue-in-cheek remarks, Pawar’s veiled comment is interpreted as an attempt to create pressure on the Congress and the Shiv Sena (UBT) to yield more seats for his NCP faction for the assembly polls. The strike rate of Pawar’s party was the highest in MVA for the LS election. It contested 10 seats and won eight while the Congress bagged 13 by contesting 17. The Sena was the worst performer, winning nine seats against the 21 it fought. Pawar’s observation has come when the MVA is said to be in favour of allotting 96 assembly constituencies to each partner in the 288-member house. Without saying so, Pawar has transmitted the message that the two partners should rein in their horses while demanding any seat share. The seat distribution assumes importance since it has been tacitly agreed that the next MVA chief minister will belong to the party which has the maximum number of MLAs.