Maharashtra NCP eyes CM’s post

Mumbai : Attempting to build up pressure on the Congress, alliance partner NCP indicated here Thursday that it would insist on the post of chief minister if it secured more seats in the ensuing Maharashtra assembly elections.

Newly-appointed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state president Sunil Tatkare told media persons that the party would also make its demand to contest 144 seats – or 50 percent – of the total 288 seats in the legislature.

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“We are very clear on this. If we secure more seats, we will insist on having our CM,” Tatkare said in his maiden press conference after taking over his new assignment.

The former state minister asserted that this time, the NCP would not repeat the 2004 power-sharing formula when it settled for the deputy chief minister’s post despite getting more seats than the Congress.

Tatkare’s claims for higher share of seats came even as the talks on the sensitive seat sharing issue are pending between the two parties.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the NCP secured four seats from Maharashtra as compared to the two by the Congress.

The two parties have been ruling the state for three terms since 1999, but always with a chief minister from the Congress – a trend which the NCP now hopes to change.