Mumbai: Maharashtra units of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are waiting for a nod from central leadership of their parties over the issue of forming a broader alliance with smaller parties, sources said.
The Congress and the NCP will try to accommodate Raju Shetti of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatan (SSS) and Jayant Patil of Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) and a few smaller Republican groups that had formed the Samvidhan Bachao front. After they get the nod from their central leadership in Delhi, they will start discussions with these parties.
Congress and NCP leaders had met in Mumbai on Tuesday to discuss the pre-poll alliance for 2019 general and Assembly elections. After the meeting, leaders from both parties said that they have agreed to come together, but the final decision on alliance will be taken by central leadership in Delhi.
In 2014, Congress had fought 27 seats and NCP had contested 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Out of these seats, NCP won four and Congress could win only two seats. Both the parties fought the assembly elections on their own.
According to the sources, the seat-sharing formula for 2019 elections will be a major hurdle in the formation of an alliance. Both the parties want to accommodate of Raju Shetti and Jayant Patil as well as smaller Republican groups. Though SSS and PWP may demand one seat each in Lok Sabha, sources said it might be acceptable to both the parties.
Sources from the Congress also said that Rahul Gandhi wants to finalises the decision of forming an alliance in Maharashtra soon. “By June end, Rahul Gandhi wants a clear picture for Maharashtra so that that party could focus on campaign,” said a senior Congress functionary.