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

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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