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Congress-NCP to resume seat-sharing talks next week ahead of Assembly polls

The two parties will meet coming Tuesday, after which they will begin deliberations with smaller parties, including the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).

mumbai Updated: Jul 11, 2019 05:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi,NCP,NCP Congress
Chavan’s resignation was accepted by the party leadership two weeks ago, although he had submitted it soon after the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will begin their seat-sharing talks for the forthcoming state Assembly elections next week. The two parties will meet coming Tuesday, after which they will begin deliberations with smaller parties, including the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA).

Senior Congress leaders, under the leadership of the outgoing state chief Ashok Chavan, held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the party’s prospects in various constituencies. The meeting, which lasted for more than four hours, was attended by Congress Legislative Party leader Balasaheb Thorat and leader of Opposition in legislative Assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar. Chavan’s resignation was accepted by the party leadership two weeks ago, although he had submitted it soon after the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.

The leaders discussed the seats in which the Congress is on number one and two positions. According to sources, the party is expected to repeat its sitting MLAs, while negotiating with the NCP for the seats where its candidates were runners-up. “There are a few seats where the Congress or NCP candidates won against each other. Indapur is one of such constituencies, as Congress’s Harshavardhan Patil was defeated by NCP’s Dattatray Barne. There could be differences between the two parties on such constituencies, but we will resolve it amicably,” said a leader, requesting anonymity.

Another leader said they decided on the strategy for negotiations with the NCP over the number of seats and exchange of a few of the seats.

The NCP is likely to demand 50% seats while forging an alliance.

In 2014, both the parties fought the elections separately, while in 2009, the Congress fought for 174 seats and the NCP, 114 seats, after conceding a few seats to their respective allies.

Chavan said they want the VBA to join hands with them. “We will hold talks with the VBA and other smaller allies next week. I am not sure if the VBA is in favour of coming with us, but we will attempt to bring them on board,” he said.

Chavan said nothing has been decided about including Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in the alliance. He also accused the BJP of poaching the Congress and NCP leaders using money and muscle power.

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 05:36 IST

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