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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Seat-sharing sealed, Congress-NCP starts talks with small allies

The Congress-NCP expects around 15 smaller parties and outfits to join the Democratic Front alliance, and their collective demand may be far more than what has been offered.

mumbai Updated: Sep 18, 2019 17:01 IST
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday began talks for the Assembly polls with smaller allies.
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday began talks for the Assembly polls with smaller allies. (HT FILE)
         

The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday began talks for the Assembly polls with smaller allies, a day after they announced their decision to give 38 seats to them.

The Congress-NCP expects around 15 smaller parties and outfits to join the Democratic Front alliance, and their collective demand may be far more than what has been offered.

Congress state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat, former state unit chief Manikrao Thakre, NCP leader Praful Patel and Ajit Pawar held meetings with some of the alliance partners namely Samajwadi Party, Laxman Mane-led Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi, and a few factions of the Republican Party of India. A few more rounds of talks with other smaller allies will be held over the next few days to decide on the sharing of seats.

Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Paksha has been demanding 49 seats, although it is likely to settle for 10-12 seats. The Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) may get around four-five seats, followed by four seats for the Samajwadi Party and three seats to Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi.

The Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), factions of RPI, Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi are expected to get one-two seats each.

“We have been speaking to them for sharing of seats. If need be, we will have no problem in conceding a couple of more seats to smaller partners,” said Thorat.

Swabhimani Paksha has been demanding seats from Kolhapur, Sangli and couple of Vidarbha districts, where the party has a stronghold.

The Samajwadi Party has been given Shivaji Nagar (where party leader Abu Asim Azmi is a sitting MLA), Bhiwandi and Aurangabad East, while Congress has admitted for friendly fight in Byculla.

“We have demanded seven seats, of which agreement has been done on four seats,” Abu Asim Azmi said.

CPI’s Subhash Lande said they have demanded seven seats, but they expect at least four seats in alliance.

“Nothing has been finalised. If talks fail, we will form a Left alliance with like-minded parties,” he said.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 23:54 IST

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