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NCP, Cong seal deal; formal word soon

After several hiccups the Congress finally managed to resolve its dispute over sharing the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra with alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party. HT Political Bureau reports.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2009 01:08 IST
HT Political Bureau

After several hiccups the Congress finally managed to resolve its dispute over sharing the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra with alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party on Friday. Though a formal announcement is still awaited, party sources in both the state and the center confirmed that the Congress will contest 26 seats, the NCP, 22.

Indeed in a sudden spurt of bonhomie after days of squabbling, the two parties decided to contest the seats in Bihar in alliance as well.

“We will contest about six seats in Bihar in a tie up with the Congress,” said the NCP’s Tariq Anwar.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had contested 27 seats in Maharashtra, the NCP 21. The NCP wanted the 48 seats to be shared equally this time, but finally settled for 22 seats.

Admitting that the Congress workers wanted the party to fight on its own in every state, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said the political situation had forced them to continue with the NCP alliance. “Ground realities can’t be ignored,” Tiwari said.