'NCP not to ally with Cong in HP Assembly polls'
Vadodara: The NCP will put up its own candidates and not ally with the Congress in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections due to be held next month, Union Minister Praful Patel has said.
"Our party will contest this election (in Himachal Pradesh) on its own strength and will not ally with Congress," Patel said last evening, at the end of the NCP's fifth national convention.
The outgoing ruling BJP has a strength of 42 in the 68 member House in Himachal Pradesh.
Both BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat are poll-bound later this year.
However, the NCP has decided to ally with Congress party for Assembly elections in Gujarat saying it wants to check division of votes and prevent Modi-led BJP from making a hat-trick.
"I have requested our party president Sharad Pawar to ensure getting more seats for NCP candidates before finalising alliance with Congress on seat sharing arrangements and see that the party is treated respectfully," Patel said.
There are a total 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly. Under the 2007 seat-sharing arrangement, NCP was allotted eight seats and three of its candidates were elected.
This time we want an increase in the number of allotted seats as the party has strengthened its position in 22 out of the 26 district Panchayats, Patel said.
Meanwhile, former state Congress unit president Siddharth Patel welcomed the NCP's decision to have a poll alliance with the Congress in Gujarat.
"Alliance becomes possible only by treating the partners respectfully and Congress will have no problem in sorting out the issue with NCP," he added.