Congress-NCP to contest Mah Lok Sabha elections together

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Mumbai, Nov 10 (UNI) Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the ruling coalition in Maharashtra will jointly contest the next Lok Sabha elections in the state.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of leaders of both the parties here today, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesman Anant Gadgil said.

In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had contested 27 seats and won 14, while NCP contested 21 and won nine.

However, in view of the reports of the NCP's demand for fifty per cent Lok Sabha seats this time, Mr Gadgil said NCP did not raise the issue during the meeting.

The meeting was attended by MPCC president Manikrao Thakare, working president Jayavantrao Avale, Industries Minister Ashok Chavan and Agriculture Minister Balasaheb Thorat. Maharashtra NCP president Arun Gujarathi, general secretary Gurunath Kulkarni, Finance Minister Jayant Patil and Energy Minister Dilip Walse Patil participated from the NCP side.

The next round of the meeting is expected to take place within a fortnight, as Maharashtra Congress Election Campaign Committee chief Gurudas Kamat and Mumbai Regional Congress Committee Kripashankar Singh could not attend the meeting, he added.

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