We won't be alliance breaker, says Maharashtra Congress

Asserting that it would not be responsible for any break up of alliance with NCP, Congress in Maharashtra Tuesday asked the Sharad Pawar-led party to show flexibility and accept the seat-sharing proposal mooted by it.

PTI| Updated: Sep 23, 2014, 20:37 PM IST

Mumbai: Asserting that it would not be responsible for any break up of alliance with NCP, Congress in Maharashtra Tuesday asked the Sharad Pawar-led party to show flexibility and accept the seat-sharing proposal mooted by it.

Talking to reporters, MPCC President Manikrao Thakre said Congress and NCP leaders held an unscheduled meeting this morning and exchanged their respective proposals with regard to distribution of seats ahead of the October 15 state polls.

"We hope the NCP will accept our proposal. If we take two steps forward to resolve the deadlock, we want our ally to do the same... We will not be responsible for any (possible) break up (of the alliance)," he said here.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was also present at the press conference, declined to disclose details of the meeting or the proposal forwarded by his party.

"Can't give a ball-by-ball commentary. We don't want our issues to come out in open like what is happening in the Opposition camp," he said, referring to the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, whose leaders have been giving statements in the media about their respective demands for their quota of seats.

Chavan said the Congress Central Election Committee has completed the process of finalising candidates for all but a few 174 Assembly seats (contested by the party in 2009).

Also discussions had been held on a contingency plan for the remaining 114 constituencies (fought by NCP in last polls).

"Discussions with NCP are on and a final decision will be announced soon," the Chief Minister said.

Asked why the morning meeting remained inconclusive, Chavan said "complex" issues cannot be decided in one hour.

"There are a lot of issues," he said and declined to confirm whether NCP had sought Chief Minister's post for half of the five-year term if the ruling alliance retains power.

To a question on the Congress logic for offering 124 seats to NCP, Chavan said in 2004 Assembly polls, the latter had fielded candidates on those many constituencies.

"In 2009 we got double the seats in Lok Sabha polls so NCP gave us 10 more seats in Assembly. In 2014, NCP got double the seats than us in Lok Sabha so we will give those many seats (ten) back," he explained.

NCP is insisting on contesting 50 per cent (144) of the total 288 seats in the State Assembly.

Meanwhile, NCP leader Chandrakant Tripathi, Independent Legislators Shirish Kotwal (Chandwad in Nashik district) and Bharat Bhalke (Pandharpur in Solapur district) joined the Congress today.