Seat sharing for Maha polls: NCP favours 2004 formula
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 22:02
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 suggested.

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 leader said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 22:02

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