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Alliance with UBT Sena may prove self-destructive for Congress: Sanjay Nirupam

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Hours after the Shiv Sena (UBT) released its first list of candidates in Maharashtra for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, naming Amol Kirtikar from Mumbai North West parliamentary constituency among others, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam warned the Sena for taking an "extreme stand" and suggested that the Congress party's alliance with them might prove to be "self-destructive."

"Shiv Sena should not take an extreme stand. This will cause a huge loss to Congress. I want to attract the attention of Congress leadership to intervene, if not then break the alliance to save the party. The decision of an alliance with Shiv Sena will prove self-destructive for Congress and its impact will be felt in Maharashtra and even beyond," Nirupam said speaking to reporters at a press conference in Mumbai.

Nirupam said that the Sena did not even consider Balasaheb Thorat's objection.

"Balasaheb Thorat was one of the members appointed to lead the negotiation with the Shiv Sena. If he is saying that there should be a rethink, it means that even his words were not considered. If they have not listened to the negotiating team, it means we have all lost," Nirupam said.

Speaking about his future course of action, Nirpuam said, "Now all options are open for me. I will wait for one week and take my decision."

Nirpuam who had represented Mumbai North in 2009 in the Lok Sabha said that the decision of the Shiv Sena to field candidates in Mumbai, is meant to side-line the Congress.

"This is to side line Congress in Mumbai. How will Congress voters in Mumbai give vote to Shiv Sena UBT?" he asked.

On Wednesday morning, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share the list of the 17 candidates, namely for Raigad, Ratnagiri, Thane, Parbhani, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Shirdi, South Mumbai, North West Mumbai, North East Mumbai, Sangli, Hingoli, Dharshiv, Nasik and Maval seats.

The UBT Sena is fighting the Maharashtra polls in alliance with the Congress, NCP (Sharad Pawar) and the Congress.Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra will be held in five phases on April 19, April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20.

The state, with its 48 Lok Sabha seats, is the second-largest contributor to the lower house of Parliament after Uttar Pradesh. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 23 out of 25 contested seats, while the undivided Shiv Sena secured 18 out of 23 seats.

The undivided NCP, part of the opposition alliance, contested 19 seats and won four. Following the split in the Shiva Sena 2022, Eknath Shinde faction aligned with the BJP. 

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