The Congress may be euphoric as most poll projections have said it will be the single largest party, and its leaders may have begun lobbying for the chief minister’s post, but the Nationalist Congress Party has moved in quickly to stake its own claim to the post.
The NCP is confident of gaining more numbers than the Congress when the Assembly poll results are out on October 22 and wants the prime post chiefly because it had, in 2004, given it to the Congress though it had won more seats than its alliance partner. The NCP had then won 71 seats and the Congress, 69.
State NCP chief R R Patil said his party would demand the post. “We gave it to the Congress in 2004 despite winning more seats because they wanted it anyhow.” However, this time, pre-poll surveys indicate the NCP would finish lower than the 2004 mark.
Patil dismissed all such talk. “Projections have been proven wrong many times,” he told HT.
He also said the numbers would not decide the candidate for the CM’s post. “It doesn’t matter even if the Congress wins more seats, they should know what we did in 2004.”
He pointed out that the NCP had won the highest number of seats in 2004 though it had finished last in that year’s Lok Sabha tally for the state. “This year too, we won the lowest number of seats in the Lok Sabha, but we are confident of winning more than 71 seats (the 2004 figure) in the Assembly polls,” he noted.
The Congress camp refused comment.