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Fight over 16-18 seats holding up Cong-NCP seat-sharing deal

Last Updated: Friday, September 18, 2009 - 23:56

New Delhi/Mumbai: Hard bargaining for 16-18
seats have held up finalization of a seat-sharing accord
between Congress and NCP for Maharashtra assembly polls as the
leaders of the two parties raced against time to try and work
out a deal.

The top leaders today met their respective party chiefs
after three days of negotiations between the two sides in
Mumbai before resuming the talks tomorrow to thrash out
differences over seat-sharing.
While there was no word from Congress on the issue
today, NCP sources said they wanted an announcement on the
seat-sharing agreement as early as tomorrow.

While top Congress leaders from Maharashtra, including
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, today met party chief Sonia
Gandhi in Delhi, senior NCP leaders had a meeting with party
President Sharad Pawar in Mumbai.

Today`s meeting took place in the backdrop of reports
that a little more than a dozen seats have become the bones of

Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and MPCC chief Manikrao
Thakre accompanied Chavan for the meeting with Gandhi.
Deshmukh had yesterday the two parties have already
finalized 95 per cent of the seats they would contest but
denied reports that the seat-sharing has been finalised in the
ratio of 174-114. "It would still require a couple of days to
finalise the arrangement for the October 13 polls," he said.

Chavan described today`s meeting with Gandhi as a
"courtesy call."

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 18, 2009 - 23:56
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