The Next Maharashtra Legislative assembly election is scheduled to be held in or before October 2024 to elect all 288 members of the state’s Legislative Assembly. Uddhav Thackeray is expected to be the incumbent Chief Minister at the time of the election. The previous Assembly elections were held in October 2019.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance NDA got a clear majority to form the government but due to internal conflict, Shiv Sena left the alliance (NDA) and form a new alliance with Nationalist Congress Party and Indian National Congress called MVA and formed the state government, with Uddhav Thackeray becoming chief minister.
Since then, Uddhav Thackeray might have been proven to be a good Chief Minister but Aghadi has a lot of internal issues. Indicating unease within the MVA, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole revealed that he had been given the task of helping his party emerge as number one in the state. After winning only 44 seats in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls, Congress is currently the fourth-largest party in the state Assembly after BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP.
Speaking to the media Patole showed confidence in Congress becoming the number one party in Maharashtra by 2024. At the same time as Patole lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket to Nitin Gadkari, he got elected to the Maharashtra Assembly from Sakoli in the Bhandara district. In other appointments to Maharashtra Congress, 6 working presidents and 10 vice presidents have been named.
Answering the Congress’s desire to go alone, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that Shiv Sena can also give a slogan of going it alone in future elections but this is not the time to indulge in politics. The statement comes days after Sena’s ally Congress announced that while it will stay on as a partner in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, henceforth, it will contest all elections on its own.
Congress president Nana Patole maintained that Congress will not enter into alliances with either the NCP or the Shiv Sena. They have to expand the party base by contesting all seats in all elections.
In a virtual address on the occasion of Sena’s 55th foundation day, Thackeray said, “Even we can give the slogan of going solo. It is our birthright. But this is not the right time. At a time when the pandemic remains a challenge, we should keep electoral politics aside. Instead, we must use our self-confidence and self-esteem to ensure the wellbeing of the people and the state.”
On multiple occasions, Congress has made it clear that it would not dither to quit the Maharashtra government if anyone speaks against its leadership. In the last few months, multiple Congress leaders including Balasaheb Thorat have expressed their concerns over their party being neglected in the coalition government. In May 2020, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had publicly stated that Congress was not the key decision-maker in Maharashtra. Recently, Congress has locked horns with Shiv Sena over its suggestion that Sharad Pawar should replace Sonia Gandhi as UPA chairperson and the demand to rename Aurangabad.
Whereas, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and the game-changer who holds all the controls maintained a dignified silence.