Mumbai: The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), a farmers’ party, reiterated its plans to contest six seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, a top leader said on Wednesday.
SSS President Raju Shetti, a former MP from Hatkanangale, — a NCP bastion — said that the farmers’ party will nominate candidates, who are likely to be farmer-leaders, in half-a-dozen seats in mofussil parts of Maharashtra, which has a total of 48 LS constituencies.
However, Shetti made it clear that the SSS will not ally with the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party or the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance of Congress-Nationalist Congress Party-Shiv Sena (UBT).
“They are simply indulging in dramatics, doing nothing for the farmers… We shall have no truck with them. For the remaining 42 seats, we may consider supporting like-minded parties on a case-by-case basis, but nothing is finalised,” said Shetti, a former MVA ally who quit the alliance last year.
Senior MVA leaders in Mumbai have frowned at the SSS’ move saying it would cut into the three-parties’ votes in the crucial elections when every seat would count to dislodge the BJP from the Centre, but declined to elaborate on grounds that it is too early to comment.
The 23-year-old SSS has a considerable following among the peasantry in western Maharashtra, and parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha.
The SSS was one of the major participants in the All India Kisan Sabha-led national agitation of farmers 2022-2021 protesting against the three contentious farm laws which were finally withdrawn.