The stalemate over the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance for the April 11 Navi Mumbai civic elections continues.
Leaders of both parties will hold one more meeting on Sunday in a last ditch effort to forge an alliance. Sources said local leaders are against an alliance.
The last date for submission of nomination forms for the elections is March 22.
The two parties almost reached an agreement on Saturday night, but talks broke down again. The parties are working on a 67:22 seat sharing formula in favour of the ruling Nationalist Congress Party.
The Congress was to announce that it was contesting the polls alone and declare its list of candidates on Saturday morning. The announcement was, however, postponed as election in-charge, Subodh Mohite, returned to Mumbai for another round of talks.
The suspense continued throughout the day as meetings took place between state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre and Mohite and the NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal and Madhukar Pichad.
Shashikant Birajdar, Navi Mumbai’s deputy mayor and a close confidante of NCP leader Ganesh Naik, was also at the meeting. “There are still some differences and we will hold a meeting on Sunday morning to discuss them,” Birajdar said.
Sources said talks broke down over the ward of Nerul’s Congress corporator, Santosh Shetty, which the NCP has demanded. “We have been asking for seats we deserve and have even given seats of our sitting corporators to the Congress,” Birajdar said.
Navi Mumbai Congress chief, Namdeo Bhagat, said there was “very little possibility” of an alliance. “We are requesting our leaders to not have an alliance because it will mean injustice to local Congress workers,” said Bhagat. “We are capable of fighting the polls on our own.”
Sources said the delay was a tactic by local leaders to thwart an alliance. There are fears of rebellion in both parties, some abetted by the leadership, if an alliance is forged.
The parties have a tie-up for the state Assembly and General elections and senior leaders wanted this extended to the Navi Mumbai civic polls too.