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Congress, NCP leaders decide to not divide anti-BJP votes in Maharashtra

The final decision for pre-poll alliance has to be taken by the leadership of both the parties

mumbai Updated: Feb 06, 2018 23:18 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Politics
Senior Congress and NCP leaders meet at Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s home on Tuesday.(Bhushan Koyande/HT)

While preparing a pitch for the 2019 elections, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday decided to come together to avoid division of opposition votes against the ruling BJP. The party leaders decided to keep aside their differences and work together to give a tough fight to the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government. The decision was taken in a joint meeting attended by top Maharashtra leaders from both the parties.

However, they also clarified that the final decision for pre-poll alliance has to be taken by the leadership of both the parties. The meeting was held at the official residence of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, leader of opposition in the legislative assembly.

In order to make 2019 assembly polls difficult for the BJP, both parties’ leaders discussed about bringing all the opposition parties on one platform. They are of the view that the move will help them avoid division of anti-BJP votes as a result of which their chances of coming back to power will become brighter, sources said. “There is no bitterness left between us. We have decided to work together and avoid division of secular votes. However, the final decision will be taken by party leadership,” said Ashok Chavan, state Congress chief.

Sunil Tatkare, state NCP chief, said the meeting was called for primary talks and state leaders of both the parties have decided to join hands. “We have resolved all our differences and are keen to work together. It is now up to the party high command to take a final call,” Tatkare said.

Apart from the 2019 elections, by-polls for two Lok Sabha seats, elections for six Rajya Sabha seats and 21 seats of the state legislative council are also going to be held soon.

The leaders will now again meeting on February 8 to chalk out their strategy for the coming budget session of the state legislature starting from this month-end.

Both the parties had snapped ties ahead of the 2014 Assembly elections, which was one of the reasons behind them losing power to the BJP after ruling the state together for 15 years. Chavan has recently expressed his views openly by saying they are open to forge an alliance with the old ally. NCP chief Sharad Pawar too is also keen on forging pre-poll alliance with Congress in the state. Pawar has indicated the same recently by saying they would join hands with like-minded parties.

First Published: Feb 06, 2018 23:18 IST