Maharashtra: Will NCP, Congress agree to 50:50 share in assembly polls?

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Mumbai, August 5: As the assembly elections in Maharashtra are scheduled to be held later this year, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday called for applications for all 288 sears.

As per a report published in TOI, state NCP president Sunil Tatkare asked party workers to be prepared for contesting all the 288 seats.

While addressing a party workers rally in Amravati district, Tatkare said ,"We expect to resolve the row over seat sharing amicably. In the 2009 elections, there was agreement of 174 seats for the Congress and 114 for NCP. Now we have asked for 50:50 share. If we cannot come to an agreement, then we must be prepared to contest all the seats."

Maharashtra Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar also said, "We feel that between 2009 and 2014, the state has witnessed a complete change in the political scene. The NCP's strength has increased and under such circumstances, we feel that the party should get more seats."

The elections for 288-member Assembly are due later this year.

Meanwhile state Congress president Manikrao Thakre said, "There is no change in the political scene and the NCP's claim about its performance is hollow. We will never agree on the 50:50 formula. At the most, there can be an exchange of 12 to 15 seats. If there is no agreement, we, too, are prepared to contest the polls independently."

Thakre also said that the "list of party candidates will be ready by August 16-17."

After the Lok Sabha election result, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had made a pitch for his party getting more seats as part of the seat-sharing arrangement on the stength of its better performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

"While finalising seat-sharing we should remember that we have won more seats...our position has improved," he had said.

However, Congress has rejected NCP's demand for 144 seats.

Last month, Maharashtra CM and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan had said, "The alliance will continue only if an 'honourable' agreement on seat allocation is reached and not otherwise. "

During the last Assembly polls in 2009, NCP had contested 114 seats and Congress 174 in the 288-member House. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, NCP contested 21 seats and won four, while Congress managed to clinch just two of the 27 seats it fought, the worst-ever showing by the party.

The elections for 288-member Assembly are due later this year. Congress and NCP'a 15 year old alliance is in power in Maharashtra since 1999.

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