Cong-NCP continue talks on seats

Congress-NCP leaders on Friday met at `Varsha`, the official residence of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, to work out a formula.

Mumbai: Consensus on a seat-sharing
formula for next month`s Mumbai civic polls continued to elude
Congress and NCP, as the two sides indulged in some hard
bargaining on Friday , even as the opposition BJP said that
alliance will not work in favour of the ruling coalition in
the state to wrest the premier civic body from them.

Congress-NCP leaders on Friday met at `Varsha`, the
official residence of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, to
work out a formula.

As per the results of the 2007 elections, Congress
wants to contest 170 seats and leave 34 for the NCP. However,
with the NCP remaining adamant on 65 seats, Congress has
agreed to give 10 more seats from its quota, where it had
finished second.

While informing that nitty-gritties of 10 to 12 more
seats is being worked out, Congress sources said that the NCP
demand for 65 seats was not likely to be met.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was not present for
today`s meeting and the NCP side was led by PWD minister
Chhagan Bhujbal.

The two groups will again meet on Saturday to discuss the
formula.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh
told reporters that the alliance talks are likely to continue
for few more days since the figure for seat-sharing has not
been finalised.

However, BJP state unit president Sudhir Mungantiwar
said that the Congress-NCP alliance would not help in toppling
the Sena-BJP at the Mumbai civic body. "Congress-NCP are prone
to rebellion and it would work in our favour," he said.

"Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is being misled
into accepting that joining hands with the NCP will help the
Congress to topple the Sena-BJP in Mumbai," Mungantiwar said.

He said that Shiv Sena would give 20 and BJP nine
seats from their respective quotas to the Ramdas Athavale-led
RPI in Mumbai.

PTI

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