Senior Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders on Monday insisted that both parties are keen on an alliance for the February 16 Mumbai civic polls and began considering various permutations and combinations to work out an acceptable seat-sharing formula.
No solution was arrived at till late on Monday, a day after NCP chief Sharad Pawar issued an ultimatum to the Congress about the alliance and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan met the Congress top brass in Delhi.
The two parties are expected to take a final call on Tuesday.
On Monday, even as NCP leaders discussed whether they should lower the demand of 65 seats to between 55 and 60, Congress sources said the party is willing to up its offer of 34 seats. "The solution could be between 50 and 55 seats," said a Congress leader.
The lack of trust between the parties and the anti-NCP stance of some city Congress leaders make it tough to find a solution.
Chavan lobbed the ball in the NCP court. "The Congress offered the NCP 65 seats in 2007 based on 2002 results. I expect seat-sharing to take place based on the 2007 results," he said.
"There is understanding over 53 seats and we've given a list of the remaining 12 seats we want. We can talk numbers across the table," said Narendra Verma, NCP's city unit president.