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Cong-NCP ally seeks clarification on agenda of anti-BJP front

Maharashtra MLC Kapil Patil on Tuesday wrote to state Congress chief Ashok Chavan and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, saying that the alliance of anti-BJP parties was declared without any discussion on common issues to be raised against the government.

Patil, a prominent leader of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), said he was “surprised” that the Congress and NCP announced the alliance after leaving three Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra for their partners and asked the two leaders to come clear on the agenda.

Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats.

The legislator, however, said there was no doubt that the “progressive” parties should come together against “fascist” forces when the Constitution and democratic set up of the country was allegedly in crisis.

The two major opposition parties are currently giving final shape to the seat-sharing among their partners in the anti-BJP alliance, including Patil’s party.

“(I am) surprised that the Congress and the NCP declared the alliance after leaving three seats for alliance partners without discussing issues and agenda…It has not been cleared on which issues the campaign is to be carried out,” the MLC said in the letter to Chavan and Pawar.

Patil said that the grand alliance of the opposition parties will not be complete till Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar is part of it.

The BBM has already announced its alliance with the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM. But the Congress is reportedly trying to bring the BBM to the opposition’s fold.

Patil suggested leaving a seat each for Ambedkar and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti, who has also joined the opposition parties against the BJP, and said assuring to cede some Assembly seats for other partners would not suffice.

He demanded Chavan and Pawar come clear on the issues Ambedkar, a prominent Dalit leader in the state, and Shetti have raised with regard to backward classes and farmers, respectively.

Patil said that the discussions on issues such as Koregaon- Bhima violence, demands of Muslim and Dhangar reservations, unemployment and others have remained incomplete.

“The children of farmers are depressed for they are finding education costly and are deprived of job opportunities. Hence, the alliance needs to come clear on this,” the MLC added.

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