Congress-NCP move towards alliance

Mumbai: Maharashtra, which has witnessed the most alliance-run governments, is facing a time when all parties will be preparing for the forth-coming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

While the ruling alliance of Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena are yet to consider forging an alliance, the Opposition Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have almost locked their seat-sharing formula talks. On Friday, both, Congress and the NCP finalised their negotiation talks with like-minded parties with whom they are ready to share four out of the 48 seats of Lok Sabha (LS).

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) of Raju Shetti and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), are willing to contest the Lok Sabha elections in allaince with Congress and NCP. All other parties, Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Republican Party of India (RPI-Gawai) and Lok Bharti are not keen to contest LS elections. Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), led by Hitendra Thakur is yet to decide on joining the opposition alliance.

Ashok Chavan, state president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil of Congress, along with Jayant Patil, president of NCP and Ajit Pawar held a closed-door meeting with their probable allies. Kapil Patil, leader of Lok Bharati, Jayant Patil of PWP, Ashok Dhawale, state committee member of CPI(M), Rajendra Gawai of RPI, Raju Shetti of SSS, Abu Azami of SP also participated in the talks on Friday.

Gawai said, “Congress was keen on me contesting LS polls, on their symbol, which I outrightly rejected.” Congress has offered Gawai a LS seat of Amravati. Gawai wants to instead contest the assembly elections, which he is yet to reveal. Dhawale of CPI(M) said, his party has claimed on Dindori in Nashik and Palghar seats. Though Congress wants to leave Palghar for BVA, Thakur, the sitting legislator and chief of BVA said, Congress and NCP had not yet approached him. “They are negotiating small allies except us. I have strength in Vasai-Virar to Palghar belt and I have proved my strength in the recent by-polls in the Palghar Lok Sabha.”

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