Pawar wants Cong to act fast, be pragmatic on seat-sharing

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 23:15

New Delhi: With the two ruling coalition
partners in Maharashtra yet to open seat sharing talks for
assembly polls, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said he wants an
alliance with the Congress and that it must act quickly.

Asking the Congress to be "pragmatic" in their thinking,
Pawar also pitched for at least the 2004 seat sharing formula
if there are any hurdles. But Congress has indicated it is not
in favour of the previous formula saying ground realities have
to be taken into account following the outcome of the recent
Lok Sabha polls.

Pawar`s comments wanting the Congress to take the
initiative came even as a senior Congress leader claimed that
the two parties are likely to begin seat-sharing talks in a
day or two and that there will be a forward movement in the
alliance for the October 13 polls.

"Instead of wasting time in delaying the issue, let us
accept the number (of seats) as last time", Pawar, who arrived
here after marathon talks with party leaders in Mumbai on poll
preparations, told reporters.

His statement meant that the two parties in alliance for
the past 10 years should settle for the 2004 poll seat-sharing
ratio of 122 for NCP and 166 for Congress.

Pawar said that "in the larger interest of the state, it
will be ideal if we contest jointly," adding attempts are
being made in parts of Maharashtra to communalise the
atmosphere.

When asked about the Congress demanding more seats this
time, Pawar told a TV channel, "We are expecting (the)
Congress will communicate their own thinking on the issue. We
are expecting today or tomorrow what exactly is their thinking
and in which direction they would like to go and they have to
take a pragmatic step. Pawar said a pragmatic approach needs to be adopted in
the wake of the delimitation exercise.

He said given the fact that communal violence was being
instigated by certain political party leaders, "in such a
situation, keep unity among all sections of the state".

Congress has, however, made it known that there was no
question of it agreeing to the old formulation of seat-sharing
and it needed to be done afresh in the backdrop of the changed
scenario after the Lok Sabha polls and the delimitation of the
constituencies.

NCP General Secretary and Union Minister Praful Patel
has said the fact that talks between the two parties have not
yet started was a "cause for anxiety and worry". "Our only
concern is that it is getting too late".

Another NCP leader Govindrao Adik has said if there is
no alliance, "we have made full preparation for contesting all
the 288 seats".

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 23:15

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