The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is still interested in holding seat-sharing talks with the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), which has already declared candidates for several Lok Sabha elections 2024, reported the PTI.

Talking to reporters, Sanjay Raut reiterated his demand to scrap electronic voting machines (EVMs) and conduct polls on ballot papers, claiming that the BJP will bear the brunt if polling is not conducted on EVMs, as per the PTI.

Prakash Ambedkar was earlier in talks with the MVA, comprising the Congress, the Nationalist Congress (Sharadchandra Pawar) and the Shiv Sena (UBT), for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 but recently announced candidates for 20 out of 48 seats.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) leader claimed that Prakash Ambedkar`s party stopped talks with the MVA, which had given it a proposal for five seats, including Akola, Ramtek, Dhule and a seat in Mumbai, according to the PTI.

“We were not the one to stop the dialogue with the VBA. On the contrary, we are still keen on holding talks with the party,” he said, the news agency reported.

VBA candidates finished third in many constituencies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections 2024, in which nominees of the Congress or NCP (undivided) came second, indicating that votes were split in favour of winning candidates, mostly from the BJP and Shiv Sena (undivided).

The Shiv Sena (UBT) leader further said that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will soon lose his chair, and asserted that the party`s doors were not open to “traitors”, as per the PTI.

The Congress on Monday announced the candidature of Dr Abhay Patil from Akola Lok Sabha seat.

Dr Abhay Patil will take on sitting BJP MP Sanjay Dhotre`s son Anup Dhotre, and Ambedkar, who lost from the seat in the 2019 polls.

Meanwhile, BJP MP from Jalgaon in north Maharashtra, Unmesh Patil, who failed to get a party ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024, met Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, sparking speculation about his future political move, reported the PTI.

The BJP has reportedly denied ticket to Unmesh Patil and replaced him with Smita Wagh from the Jalgaon parliamentary constituency, as per the PTI.

(with PTI inputs)

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