Home India Politics Congress, NCP to hold seat-sharing talks Tuesday

Congress, NCP to hold seat-sharing talks Tuesday


New Delhi : The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are set to hold formal talks later Tuesday for a seat-sharing formula for the Maharashtra assembly elections, party officials said here.

“Th first official talks with the NCP for seat sharing will take place in the evening in Mumbai,” Manikrao Thakre, chief of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, told reporters after meeting A.K. Antony, general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, this morning.

The meeting of Maharashtra Congress leaders at Antony’s residence was attended by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, his senior colleague Narayan Rane, union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Mumbai party chief Kripa Shankar Singh.

Thakre said details of the seat-sharing arrangement would be made public after the meeting with NCP leaders in Mumbai.

Asked if the Congress could go it alone in Maharashtra, applying the formula used in Uttar Pradesh, Kripa Shankar Singh said: “No formula of Uttar Pradesh will be applied in Maharashtra.”

Senior NCP leaders, including Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Maharashtra NCP chief R.R. Patil, are set to attend the meeting in Mumbai.

The Congress-NCP alliance is ruling Maharashtra, which goes to polls Oct 13. The two parties are in talks to finalise seat-sharing.

In the 2004 assembly polls, the Congress contested 157 of the 288 seats and the NCP fought for 127 seats, leaving the rest to their allies. The NCP won 71 seats while the Congress got 69.

In the April-May Lok Sabha elections, the Congress contested 25 of the 48 seats in the state and won 17, while the NCP got only eight of the 21 seats it contested.