It’s happening again — that pre-poll unfriendly tug-of-war between friends.
The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), the party’s state unit, is in no mood to concede an inch to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) when both parties decide to forge an alliance for the forthcoming state Assembly elections.
MPCC President Manikrao Thakare said the party did not approve of the 2004 seat-sharing formula any longer. “Delimitation has changed so many constituencies. Now, the number of seats we want to contest will also increase.”
In 2004, the Congress and its associates contested 166 seats while the NCP and its associates fielded 122. However, the NCP emerged as the largest single party, followed closely by the Congress. The NCP lagged behind after a year when ex-Sainik Narayan Rane got himself and his supporters elected on Congress tickets.
The NCP is not willing to disturb the formula. But for the Congress, other than reworking the formula, it is keen on proving that it has better prospects after a thumping win (17 seats) in the Lok Sabha polls. The NCP won just eight.
“Ground realities have changed. Our leader and workers want the high command to take a quick decision (on pact with NCP) so that they can start campaigning,” Thakare told the media after meeting some 500 block presidents. Chief Minister Ashok Chavan also attended the meeting.