Mumbai: The Congress and the NCP will announce their seat-sharing pact and alliances with smaller like-minded parties for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra on Saturday. An office-bearer of the Congress Friday said, both the parties will contest 23 seats each and leave two for allies. The NCP has given Hatkanangale seat from its quota to Raju Shetti of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), while the Congress will leave Palghar for Bahujan Vikas Agadhi. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that although both the parties will carry out the publicity and campaign jointly, they will release their manifestos separately.
Apart from the SSS, the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Bahujan Vikas Agadhi, three factions of the RPI led by Jogendra Kawade, Rajendra Gavai and Khobragade group, Loktantrik Janata Dal's Kapil Patil, independent MLA Ravi Rana's local outfit in Amravati are some of the smaller parties supporting the Congress-NCP. Congress has so far announced candidates for 12 seats and NCP for 16 seats. Both the parties suffered a setback last week when Sujay, son of Leader of opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, and Ranjitsinh, son of NCP MP and former deputy chief minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, joined the BJP. Earlier in the day, NCP's state unit vice president Bharti Pawar and Congress leader Pravin Chheda joined the BJP.