New Delhi: NCP on Wednesday said that the old seat- sharing formula with ally Congress in Maharashtra was no longer "applicable in the wake of changed conditions" even as the leaders of the two parties met to discuss the issue.
"There was a proposal from Congress that Assembly polls should be contested together. We have conveyed our stand to Congress regarding the seat-sharing agreement.
"We have told the party that in the changed conditions, the old formula for seat-sharing cannot be applicable. We must have an equal distribution of seats," said senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Praful Patel.
Of the six seats won by the UPA coalition in the state in the just-concluded general elections, NCP bagged four with Congress securing a mere two seats.
Following Congress`s poor showing, NCP has been demanding an equal allocation of 144 seats for its candidates to contest in the elections to the 288-member Assembly.
In the 2009 Assembly polls, NCP had fielded 114 candidates against Congress`s 174. The two parties are running a coalition government in Maharashtra since 1999.
Congress leader AK Anthony, the in-charge of Maharashtra affairs and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, today met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence here to discuss the seat-sharing plan. Patel, too, was present for the meeting.
"Since today`s was a preliminary discussion, we have not received anything concrete from Congress. We had a broad discussion on how to face the elections in the state.
"It is natural that the Congress will talk to its leaders over the issue and get back accordingly. There would be more discussions in the next two days," Patel said.
While NCP is pressurising the Congress over its demand, sources said that the latter may not fully agree with the former`s aggressive stand on the issue.