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NCP may join Congress-led anti-BJP front for Gujarat elections

The party may hands with the Congress if it gets a decent number of seats for them in seat-sharing arrangement.

assembly elections Updated: Oct 23, 2017 22:35 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Congress,NCP,Nationalist Congress Party
A combo picture of NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.(HT File Photo)

With the Congress planning to float a mega anti-BJP front in the ensuing Gujarat assembly elections, Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has shown interest in reuniting with the former.

Following Gujarat Congress’ appeal to various political parties to join hands with it to defeat the ruling BJP in the elections, sources in the NCP said the party brass is considering the option and leaders from both parties are currently in touch.

The party would be interested in joining hands with the Congress if it gets a decent number of seats for them in seat-sharing arrangement, said sources. “The final decision will be taken by party chief Sharad Pawar and senior leader Praful Patel,” they added.

In its bid to put up a strong challenge to the BJP in Gujarat, the Congress has already reached out to Patidar leader Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit community leader Jignesh Mevani. Of them, Thakor has already announced his decision to join the Congress.

“The NCP was always in the favour of a front of like-minded parties against the BJP,”said NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik on Monday.

Two days ago, Gujarat state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki, said their doors are open for the NCP.

The statement is an indication of a thaw in the relations between the two parties following bitterness after the Congress accused the NCP of not voting for its candidate and senior leader Ahmed Patel in recent Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat.

“... a lot also depends on what we get in terms of seats,”said a senior NCP leader.

Congress brass was upset with the NCP as one of the two party MLAs voted for BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput in the Gujarat poll. Though the NCP said the other MLA voted for Patel, the Congress suspected the NCP actually helped the BJP.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 22:35 IST