After the fiasco in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Congress formalised a seat-sharing pact with the NCP in Maharashtra. The Congress will contest 26 and the NCP 22 of the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats.
Some state Congress leaders, however, did not approve of the formula. “The NCP enjoys an edge despite getting lesser number of seats,” they said.
Congress’s A.K. Antony and NCP’s Praful Patel and D.P. Tripathi announced the pact on Monday, but said talks were on over exchange of some seats.
Congress leaders alleged their party let the NCP get its choice. “I don’t understand why we surrender so meekly to the NCP, ” said one.
The Congress is expected to give a seat to Athawale, effectively standing to retain only 25, two short of the 2004 tally. On the other hand, the NCP will retain last election’s number (21) despite conceding a seat to the Republican Party of India’s other faction led by Rajendra Gavai.
Another Congress minister said requesting anonymity, “The Congress despite being a national party has lost its base in so many constituencies. It needs to resurrect and not concede to NCP’s every demand.”