Mumbai: A day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar asked senior coalition partner, the Congress, to speed-up seat-sharing talks for the Mumbai municipal polls, due next
month, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday downplayed the "ultimatum" given by the Union Agriculture Minister.
Chavan told reporters here that it was in the interest
of both the parties that the seat-sharing talks conclude at
the earliest so that the "communal forces" ruling the
country`s richest civic body are defeated.
Chavan, who returned from Delhi where he apprised the
party leadership on the progress of the talks, said 2007
experience of the seat sharing was bad for both Congress and
"Talks continued till the eve of filing of nominations
and broke down over some differences. We had little time to
prepare. This time the process of filing of nominations will
begin on January 31," he said.
"There is unanimity within Congress that there should
be an alliance (with NCP). The ball is now in NCP`s court,"
the chief minister said.
Chavan had yesterday said that he held the district
wise deliberations with Mumbai unit leaders, office-bearers
and elected representatives on the issue.
"We have arrived at some conclusions and are ready to
talk to NCP tomorrow," he said.
Indicating that Congress will not accept NCP`s demand
for 65 seats, Chavan said the seat-sharing formula for the
2007 polls was decided as per the outcome of 2002 elections
and the 2007 results should be the criteria for 2012 election