Seat-sharing tussle solved? Maharashtra poll alliances may be finalised by night

Maha poll alliances may be finalised
Mumbai, Sep 23: After hurtling to the brink over weeks, political alliances between the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena appeared to be pulling back from total break-down, according to party officials.

Partners in both groupings have narrowed down their sharp differences over the number of seats each wanted to contest in the Oct 15 elections to the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, and the figures may be finalised late Tuesday, party officials said.

The development followed meetings between the aggressive parties Tuesday morning in which they vowed not to snap their partnerships.

Congress-NCP leaders who met Tuesday emerged with the oft-repeated chant that they are both interested in keeping the alliance intact.

The crucial issues of seat-share would be finalised late evening after consulting their respective top party brass, they said.

The BJP-Sena alliance leaders also met in the morning and came out with similar declarations that they were keen to continue the alliance, but the seat-sharing would be declared late in evening.

Incidentally, the developments came on the last day of the ongoing Hindu fortnight of shraddh or Pitru Paksh - considered by many as an inauspicious period - which ends Tuesday night.

Congress and BJP leaders admit privately that though everything has been finalised, they were waiting for the shraddh period to end before making a formal announcement of their plans.

The current positions of all the parties vis-a-vis seat-sharing remained unchanged but the finally agreeable tally will be clear later in the evening.

This would pave the way for the filing of nominations by candidates as the Sep 27 deadline is just four days away for the Oct 15 elections to the state assembly.

The campaigning for the elections - stuck because of the political logjam - will also be taken up in right earnest from Wednesday in constituencies where the situation is not confusing.


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