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Maha polls: Cong-NCP stand-off continues

NCP and congress

NCP congress Mumbai: With Congress announcing its first list of candidates amid continuing stalemate over seat sharing for Maharashtra Assembly polls, the NCP leadership has gone into a huddle to decide its future course of action.

All senior NCP leaders, including party chief Sharad Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, state party chief Sunil Tatkare, senior leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Praful Patel today met at Ajit Pawar’s official residence – Deogiri – to decide the next move.

The party is expected to announce its list of candidates and also take a call on the future of tie-up with Congress, a NCP leader said.

Meanwhile, a Congress leader said the party had not declared candidates in 114 constituencies which were held by NCP in 2009.

“Talks are not possible with NCP with conditions like equal seats and CM’s post,” the leader said adding that the body language of the NCP seems to be that it wants to go solo.

“There is little time now for talks. We have to start campaigning,” the leader pointed out.

Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane said his party is prepared to spare 124 seats for NCP.

“If the alliance does not materialise, we are ready to contest all the 288 seats. But Congress is in favour of continuing the alliance,” he had earlier said.

There have been no talks between the leaders of the two parties since their meeting yesterday morning where Congress offered 124 seats to NCP, 10 more than it had contested in the last Assembly elections.

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre has said his party should not be blamed if the 15-year-old alliance breaks.

Ruling out any further talks with NCP, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan left for Karad yesterday morning where he is expected to file his nomination papers tomorrow.


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