New Delhi: Congress on Saturday downplayed conflicting signals from the NCP on the issue of alliance in the Lok Sabha polls saying that the two parties have been together for the past 15 years and suggested it could be tough bargaining over seat sharing.
"Every party has all options open. We have been together for the past 15 years," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters insisting that when elections come, there is bound to be some tussle over seat sharing.
He was asked about NCP leader Praful Patel remarks asking Congress to finalise the seat sharing immediately while accusing it of delaying the talks for "far too long" and that it was losing patience.
Reflecting the unease in Congress-NCP ties in Maharashtra and apparently preparing for a tough bargain, Patel warned in Mumbai earlier that all options are open for his party.
"It is not a good sign for the simple reason that elections are round the corner and all political parties need clarity on issues. Options for all political parties are open as long as they are very clear," Patel, a Union minister,said.
The statement of the Congress spokesman was significant as it also came on a day when NCP chief Sharad Pawar rubbished reports of a meeting with Narendra Modi.
"News of my meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17 appeared in a newspaper. (It) is completely mischievous, baseless & false," the Agriculture Minister said on micro-blogging site Twitter.