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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena legislators' fear of losing seats to MVA partners feeding Shinde's revolt

NASHIK/ PUNE: One of the key reasons behind the revolt in the Shiv Sena is the fear among its legislators that they would lose ground to alliance partners NCP and Congress if the Maha Vikas Aghadi continues, senior Sena elected members told TOI on Thursday.
A Sena MP, requesting anonymity, said he was unsure of getting a ticket for the next Lok Sabha polls. "In my constituency, both the MVA coalition partners are keen on contesting the election. If our leadership agrees with them, I will lose my seat. This was not so when we had an alliance with BJP which never staked claim to my seat knowing well that it belonged to Sena," he added.

Their concerns have been accentuated with elections in at least 10 municipal corporations later this year, and several gram panchayat and zilla parishad polls.

"These leaders are worried about their seats, and those of their supporters in these elections. Shiv Sena fought against Congress and NCP for three decades and the rivalries run deep. It will not be possible to adjust or share seats like it was with BJP," said a veteran Sena member.

"Under such circumstances, the rebels feel the Sena leadership could part with some seats it had won in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections following a hard bargain by its coalition partners. If the Sena leadership fails to prevail upon them, sitting MPs and MLAs could end up fighting as independents or part with their seats to either NCP or Congress," said the senior Sena leader.

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On the other hand, the Sena leader said, the alliance between BJP and Sena had no hiccups during the polls as neither had staked claim to seats won by each party.

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He recalled that in Muktainagar, local leader Chandrakant Patil had staked claim to the party ticket for the assembly polls, but was refused since the seat was earmarked for BJP. He resigned, contested as an independent and defeated BJP's Rohini Khadse.

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All five Sena MLAs from north Maharashtra-four from Jalgaon and one from Nashik-had contested against NCP candidates. "We have been fighting NCP and Congress in several constituencies as they are our traditional rivals. BJP has been the Sena's natural ally," an independent MLA, who has thrown his weight behind Shinde, said.
Watch Maha crisis: Eknath Shinde showcases strength, releases first video with 42 rebel MLAs from Guwahati
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