NCP, Congress to fight Maharashtra polls together: Patil


Panaji : The Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Maharashtra president R.R. Patil said here Wednesday that the party will contest the forthcoming elections to the state assembly in partnership with the Congress.

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Patil dismissed recent claims by senior Congress leaders that their party would go it alone in the assembly polls.

“There is no question about it. The alliance is inevitable. What the Congress leaders have said is their personal opinion, not necessarily that of the party,” Patil said at a press conference.

The former Maharashtra home minister also said that seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the NCP would be held at the right juncture.

Patil was in Goa along with NCP general secretary Gurunath Kulkarni to bring order to the disarray in the state unit, which was left rudderless after the stormy exit of NCP state president Wilfred D’Souza last month.

D’Souza had resigned as state president along with a majority of the executive committee members who accused Sharad Pawar of being communal and anti-Catholic.

Kulkarni said the party was in the process of appointing a new president and beefing up the membership of the party, which presently has only 86 politicians.

“There were no attempts made to enroll members in the party. In the last few years, the party here was controlled by a coterie of individuals who did not go beyond Panaji and adjoining areas,” Kulkarni said, taking a swipe at D’Souza.

The NCP presently has three legislators in the Goa legislative assembly, two of whom are cabinet ministers.