After the fiasco in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Congress on Monday formalised a seat-sharing pact with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra on expected lines.
The Congress will contest 26 and the NCP 22 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Both will give one seat each to factions of the Republican Party of India. This leaves the NCP with 21 seats, the same as in 2004.
The Congress will contest five of the six seats in Mumbai and the NCP Mumbai North East. Thane and Kalyan go to the NCP. The Congress has got more seats in its stronghold Vidarbha and in Konkan, and the NCP in western and north Maharashtra.
The Congress had to compromise in Marathwada, where both parties will contest four seats. The tussle over Osmanabad remains. Congress leader A.K. Antony and NCP’s Praful Patel and D.P. Tripathi announced the pact on Monday.
“Although we wanted to give only 21 seats to the NCP, we ended up giving it 22,” said a leader seeking anonymity. Some senior Maharashtra Congress leaders were unhappy, saying “the NCP enjoys an edge despite getting fewer seats”.