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No break-up in NCP-Congress before Maharashtra elections: Sharad Pawar

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-06-2014 Makarand Gadgil

Mumbai: Sharad Pawar, president of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on Monday rejected reports that his party was thinking of contesting Maharashtra assembly elections without alliance partner Congress party. Pawar, however, said that there was “a growing feeling in the party that NCP should get higher number of seats”.

Congress and the NCP, which form the ruling Democratic Front, have historically contested elections together in a seat-sharing arrangement.

On Sunday, Pawar had met NCP ministers to review the party’s preparations for the assembly elections due in October-November. Some media reports after the meeting said ministers had demanded that NCP should go solo to avoid anger against the Congress. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Congress won two seats, while NCP won four out of 48 seats from the state.

“Our performance is better than that of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections. There should be definitely a rethink on the seat-sharing formula for the assembly elections,” Pawar told reporters.

However, he refused to answer questions about how many more seats the NCP wanted. “I will soon have discussions with the Congress high command and we will work out the seat-sharing agreement,” Pawar said.

In 2009, out of total 288 seats assembly seats, NCP and Congress contested 114 and 174 seats respectively. The NCP won 62 seats, while Congress won 82 seats.

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