Congress, NCP discuss Maharashtra seat sharing for 2019 polls

Both parties may from a grand alliance in the state, by getting smaller opposition parties on board, said state Congress chief Ashok Chavan.

Updated: Sep 11, 2018 23:41:53

By HT Correspondent

Congress president Rahul Gandhi with NCP chief Sharad Pawar, senior congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and other party leaders during 'Bharat Bandh' protest march against fuel price hike and depreciation of the rupee at Rajghat , in New Delhi on September 10. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

A day after the Opposition put up a combined show against Bharatiya Janata Party-led governments at the Centre and several states through a country-wide shutdown, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday held their first meeting to discuss a seat-sharing arrangement for the forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state.

Both parties may from a grand alliance in the state, by getting smaller opposition parties on board, said state Congress chief Ashok Chavan after the meeting.

A committee of leaders from both parties has been formed to speak to like-minded parties before the seat-sharing discussions begin, he added. They aim to rope in the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Jogendra Kawade-led People’s Republican Party, the Prakash Ambedkar led- Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, the Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), MP Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Paksha and the Peasants’ and Workers’ Party.

“We have reservations over a few Lok Sabha and Assembly seats, but it will be discussed at a later stage, once the smaller parties are taken into confidence. Parties such as BVA and Swabhimani Paksha will demand at least one Lok Sabha seat. In such a scenario, we will first decide on them before talking seat-sharing between the Congress and NCP. Similarly, the ratio of seat-sharing for the Assembly election will be decided roughly after equations with smaller parties are clear,” said an NCP leader.

Both parties were in an alliance in the state from 1999 to 2014 before they snapped ties ahead of the assembly elections.

“There are disputes over a few seats from both the sides, but we have decided to resolve it mutually... As we fought the elections separately in 2014, we won some constituencies that were traditionally held by the other... We will take the ability of the candidate to win into consideration before taking a call,” said a Congress leader, who attended the meeting.

First Published: Sep 11, 2018 23:41:48


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