Solve Maharashtra fight over 6 seats for Lok Sabha: Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar to state leaders
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Solve Maharashtra fight over 6 seats for Lok Sabha: Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar to state leaders

With no consensus in their Delhi meet, Kharge, Patel asked to come up with a solution

mumbai Updated: Jan 12, 2019 09:41 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
NCP leader,sharad pawar,praful patel
Congress general secretary and Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge and Senior NCP leader Praful Patel will now deliberate on the six seats, and will take it to the party presidents, if need be. (PTI)

With a meeting between the party chiefs in Delhi proving to be inconclusive, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chiefs have asked leaders from both the parties to resolve the issues over six Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra on state-level.

While state leaders decided on 40 seats, there was no consensus on the remaining eight. The NCP then agreed to give up its claim on Yavatmal and Pune, which are with the Congress. But there is still no decision on Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Nandurbar, Jalna and Raver, even after the discussion between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Wednesday.

Congress general secretary and Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge and Senior NCP leader Praful Patel will now deliberate on the six seats, and will take it to the party presidents, if need be.

“As the Central leadership is not aware of the details of the constituencies, Congress president Rahul Gandhi suggested the seats be decided by a group of four leaders, two each from both the parties. Kharge and state Congress chief Ashok Chavan and Patel and state NCP chief Jayant Patil will participate in the meeting expected to take place next week. The formal announcement of the alliance will be made by party presidents,” said a Congress leader, requesting anonymity.

Patel said, “We expect an amicable solution. There is no dispute, only a lack of consensus. As we had to accommodate smaller allies, we have not taken any decisions. The smaller parties will get seats from the quota of both the parties.”

Of the six seats, the Congress has been demanding exchange for Ahmednagar and Raver, while the NCP wants the remaining four seats from the Congress. The Congress is positive about exchanging Aurangabad with Ahmednagar, as the party was defeated five times from Aurangabad. The NCP, however, is not positive about conceding Ahmednagar, from where Dr Sujay, son of Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, leader of Opposition in the Assembly, wants to contest. The NCP is planning to field Nilesh Rane from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg and a member of the family of former minister Vijaykumar Gavit from Nandurbar.

According to Congress leaders, the state unit had strongly opposed to concede to the NCP’s demand of equal sharing of seats. “Before meeting Pawar, Rahulji had a meeting with us. He was told that although the NCP won more seats, it should not be given equal seats, as we have strong base across the state compared to them. We told him not to give up Pune and Yavatmal,” a leader in the know of the developments said.

Meanwhile, Gandhi has directed the party’s state unit to complete the pre-poll programme in a time-bound manner.

“We have been told to complete booth-level appointments by January 31, chalk out Rahul Gandhi’s state programme by February 15, among other preparations. We have submitted our lists of campaign and manifesto. The list of shortlisted candidates will be submitted to the Parliamentary Election Committee by the end of the month,” a leader said.

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First Published: Jan 12, 2019 09:37 IST