NCP toughens stance | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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NCP toughens stance

The Nationalist Congress Party has refused to give the Congress its letter of support to form the government. On Tuesday, the NCP said it would not extend support until the two parties agreed on a power-sharing formula.

mumbai Updated: Oct 28, 2009 00:26 IST
Dharmendra Jore

The Nationalist Congress Party has refused to give the Congress its letter of support to form the government.

On Tuesday, the NCP said it would not extend support until the two parties agreed on a power-sharing formula.

Ashok Chavan needs to submit the NCP’s letter to the governor to stake claim and form the government as it has only 82 seats and not the 145 required for a simple majority.

“We are ready to go back to the 1999 formula when we shared the portfolios and ministers equally. If the Congress does not want to accept it, let them go to the governor and form the government,” NCP leader Ajit Pawar said at a press conference.

After winning more seats (82) in the Assembly polls than the NCP (62), the Congress has staked claim on key departments like home, finance and energy, which have been with the NCP for a decade.

The NCP has refused to part with these portfolios and has offered three departments - forest, environment and labour - it took from the Congress in lieu of chief ministership in 2004. The Congress, however, wants more.

Senior NCP leader Praful Patel said: “The NCP will not compromise and will go by the 1999 formula.”

A worried Chavan met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Tuesday. She is expected to discuss the issue with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

“We are hoping Sharad Pawar, who has great experience in running coalition governments, will do justice to the Congress which has won 20 seats more than the NCP,” said state Congress spokesperson Husain Dalwai, who was with Chavan in Delhi.