Mumbai, Sep 19: The Congress and the NCP are likely to join hands to contest the forthcoming Legislative Council elections for 11 seats from local bodies, graduates and teachers constituencies.
The term of the members from these seats ends on December 5. Of the total 11 seats, NCP has the maximum five, while Congress, BJP and Independents have two each.
Prominent among the 11 retiring members is Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil of BJP. Preliminary talks between leaders of both the parties were held before the Ganpati festival where it was decided to ally for the polls. "NCP and Congress will contest the seats where they have sitting MLCs.
One more meeting will take place to finalise the seat sharing," NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said. The NCP has sitting members in teachers constituency of Aurangabad, and local bodies constituencies in Sangli Satara, Bhandara-Gondia local bodies, Yavatmal and Pune.
Congress has Nashik graduates and Nanded Local bodies, BJP has Jalgaon local bodies and Amravati graduates, while two Independents hold Nagpur teachers and Konkan teachers seats. The elections are important for ruling BJP to improve its tally in the Upper House of Legislature while NCP needs to retain its position as the single largest party in the House.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant said a meeting of leaders of both the parties did take place but nothing has been finalised as yet. Congress has appointed observers to take stock of the ground situation in Nashik graduates seat held by the party and Amravati Graduates held by MoS for Home Ranjit Patil.
"This indicates that the Congress plans to contest both the seats," a Congress office-bearer said. "NCP needs our help to retain its position as the single largest party and a meeting to discuss seat sharing will take place soon," he said.
Besides, Congress is keen to have at least one out of the three seats held by the NCP -- Sangli-Satara local bodies, Bhandara-Gondia local bodies and Yavatmal local bodies -- as it feels it has a good chance to win. BJP spokesman Keshav Upadhyay said the party will soon finalise its strategy for the polls.