Party insists it is not demanding these seats, but points to the  equations on the 2009 poll results

Mumbai : After Sharad Pawar’s statement on political untouchability, the Congress has gone on the backfoot over the seat-sharing issue. The party, which had been pressing for 29 Lok Sabha seats, is now saying that it is not demanding these seats, but only pointing at the mathematics based on the 2009 poll results.

A few days ago, Congress state unit president, Manikrao Thakre, had demanded 29 seats for his party. But the NCP had criticised him for forgetting his ambit of power. Soon after that, Sachin Sawant, a Congress spokesperson, had also reiterated this demand, saying that “we will contest 29 and the NCP should contest 19 seats in Lok Sabha.” In 2009, Congress had contested 26 and the NCP 22 seats in the Lok Sabha election. The NCP is repeatedly claiming that the Congress high command has agreed on the 26-22 seat arrangement formula and the latter has continuously countered this claim.
“We have never demanded 29 seats. This figure is only a mathematical calculation based on the 2009 Lok Sabha and assembly elections. We are open to discussion on this. Our stand is that such a discussion should start at the state-level and the final decision should be taken at the high command level,” said Thakre at a press conference. “Even the 26-22 seat-sharing formula of 2009 was based on the 2004 election results. Then why should the 2014 formula should not be based on 2009?” he asked. Asked about when this discussion would start, would he write a letter to the NCP for this discussion at the state-level, he replied that this power was with Antony Committee.
“Since these are Lok Sabha elections, we are waiting for their direction,’’ he stressed.

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