Maharashtra Congress: Won't share equal no. of seats with NCP

NCP is looking for an equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Mumbai: In his meeting with state leaders on Tuesday, Maharashtra Congress in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge discussed NCP’s seat-sharing proposal for the alliance between the two parties ahead of the elections.

NCP is looking for an equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The party has also said that both Congresses should take care of smaller parties from their respective quotas.

Sources said that Mr Kharge was asked by Congress President Rahul Gandhi to find out the state leaders’ views on the NCP’s proposal. Turns out that the Maharashtra Congress leaders are not ready to share an equal number of seats with the NCP, claiming that the latter has no organisational power in Vidarbha and Mumbai. Mr Kharge will inform Mr Gandhi about the same and the decision will then be taken at the higher level.

Alliance talks between the two parties started a few days ago. Maharashtra has 48 LS and 288 Assembly seats. NCP has five MPs and 41 MLAs right now whereas Congress has two MPs and 42 MLAs. As a part of their alliance in the 2014 LS elections, NCP contested 21 seats whereas Congress contested 27. This time however, NCP has demanded an equal number of seats i.e. 24. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has reportedly conveyed this to Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Accordingly, Mr Kharge was tasked with consulting state Congress leaders about the NCP proposal. “State Congress leaders’ opinion about the NCP proposal was unanimous. NCP has not gained so much strength to demand an equal number of seats. All the leaders have conveyed this to Mr Kharge,” said a senior party functionary.

But the state Congress has decided to put the ball back in the high command’s court for a final decision. “Whatever decision will be taken in the larger national context is acceptable to us,” state leaders told Mr Kharge.

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