Aiming to halt the ruling BJP's juggernaut in the 2019 general polls, the opposition Congress and NCP would undertake separate mass contact programmes in Maharashtra from Thursday to highlight "failures" of the central and state governments. NCP leaders have planned to visit parts of Konkan region, including Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts, besides Navi Mumbai, under the 'Parivartan Yatra' programme till January 14. The tour would begin with party leaders visiting the Raigad Fort followed by two rallies at Mahad (Raigad district) and Guhagar (Ratnagiri) on Thursday. NCP chief Sharad Pawar will attend both the rallies along with other senior leaders like Ajit Pawar, party's Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil, general secretary Sunil Tatkare and others.
Former chief minister Ashok Chavan will lead Congress' 'Jan Sangharsh Yatra' to cover parts of Vidarbha, including Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli. This would be the party's fifth leg of its tour in the state. Senior Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe- Patil and others will also be a part of the yatra, the party said in a statement. Another NCP leader Sanjay Tatkare said the party's tour will highlight "failures" of the central and state governments. Both the Congress and NCP had suffered a drubbing at the hands of the Narendra Modi-led resurgent BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, winning only two and four parliamentary seats respectively.
The Congress had won Nanded and Hingoli seats, represented by Ashok Chavan and Rajeev Satav respectively. The NCP had emerged victorious in Baramati (represented by Supriya Sule), Kolhapur (Dhananjay Mahadik), Madha (Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil) and Satara (Udayanraje Bhosale). Madhukar Kukde became NCP's fifth parliamentarian after winning the Bhandara-Gondia bypoll in May last year. The Congress and NCP are currently holding talks with other anti-BJP parties to share 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. According to sources, both the opposition parties reached a consensus on sharing 20 seats each, but a decision was yet to taken on the remaining eight constituencies.