Seat sharing for Maha polls: NCP favours 2004 formula
Mumbai: Amid reports that the Nationalist
Congress Party (NCP) may settle for a few less seats than it
contested in the 2004 Maharashtra Assembly elections, a senior
leader of the Sharad Pawar-led party on Sunday said it would
favour the same seat sharing formula with Congress.
"The last time, Congress contested 164 and NCP 124 of the
288 seats in Maharashtra. An agreement (with Congress) would
be feasible if NCP gets to contest 124 seats," Deputy Chief
Minister Chhagan Bhujbal told reporters here.
Speaking after a meeting of the party`s parliamentary
board, attended by Pawar and NCP chief R R Patil and some
ministers, Bhujbal said "if Congress accepts to contest 164
seats, then only will NCP be ready (for the seat sharing)."
Referring to reports that MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre had
suggested 179 (Congress): 109 (NCP) formula, Bhujbal said the
formula was unacceptable.
The apparent hardening of posture on NCP`s part comes a
day before Congress chief Sonia Gandhi visits Mumbai to
inaugurate Regional Congress Committee`s renovated office.
Senior NCP leader Praful Patel recently said the party
was willing to settle for less seats than it contested the
last time, but not as less as 103 seats as some in Congress
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan seconding senior Congress
leader Digvijay Singh`s suggestion that NCP should merge with
Congress has also not gone down well with the 10-year-old
party, a senior NCP leader said.
In case the two parties contest the poll separately, it
may give an upper hand to the Shiv Sena-BJP combine, the
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