Congress, NCP may swap seats in Maharashtra
Mumbai: Sharad Pawar-led NCP, which on Friday left out four constituencies while announcing candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, may swap at least two of them with ally Congress.
The two ruling alliance partners in the state and the Centre have retained the 26:22 seat sharing formula (26 for Congress and 22 for NCP) of the 2009 elections for the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra.
However, NCP today announced candidates for 18 seats, leaving out Hingoli, Beed, Mawal and Hatkanangale. NCP had contested these seats unsuccessfully last time.
The party`s strength in the present Lok Sabha is 8, compared to 17 MPs of Congress from the state. Party sources said there is a likelihood of the Hingoli and Hatkanangale seats being swapped with Congress.
This would make it possible for the Youth Congress leader Rajiv Satav to contest from Hingoli and senior NCP state minister Sunil Tatkare to contest from Raigad.
NCP sources said the party feels that as Congress had been unable to wrest the Raigad seat from Shiv Sena for three consecutive terms, NCP should now have a chance.
In Beed, there is talk of the state minister Jaidutt Kshirsagar being NCP nominee, against BJP leader Gopinath Munde. However, the party did not declare the candidate today.
Laxman Jagtap could be the NCP nominee from Mawal. For Hatkanangale too, where farmers` leader Raju Shetty of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana won in 2009, NCP today desisted from naming the candidate.
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