With the UPA starting to get its act togther ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday over seat-sharing in Maharashtra and some other states.
The meeting took place at a time when the picture was still hazy about the alliance between the Congress and Samajwadi Party in politically key Uttar Pradesh with the former unilaterally announcing 52 candidates.
Pawar’s meeting came close on the heels of the NCP’s demand that it be given 26 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra as well as some 15 seats in other states, including Goa and Meghalaya.
This is the first meeting between Pawar and Sonia on seat-sharing, an exercise described by NCP as preliminary in nature. Both the parties share power in Maharashtra and at the Centre and in the last Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had been given 26 seats and NCP 22 in the state.
The NCP is perhaps the first party that had declared that it wanted to fight the Lok Sabha elections under UPA banner. There have been problems for the UPA in Bihar with LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan ruling out any tie-up with the Lalu Prasad-led RJD and announcing plans to contest all 40 seats in the state.