Amidst signs of strain between the two long-standing allies over seat-sharing for the 2014 general elections, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has said issues will soon be sorted out with the Congress.
His statement came after his party colleague and Minister in the UPA government Praful Patel said the NCP was losing patience with the Congress, and other options were open.
“Seat-sharing with INC to be resolved in next 10 days. Talks are on in cordial manner. Praful Patel hasn’t given any ultimatum to INC,” Pawar posted on Twitter on Sunday.
Both the parties are engaged in talks over seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the outcome of which is likely to impact their relations when Maharashtra Assembly goes to polls in November this year.“Nation needs stable government. Our discussions with INC are on in friendly manner on seat sharing. I see no impact of AAP in LS polls,” another tweet from the NCP chief read. Pawar, who entered Parliament through the Rajya Sabha, was also miffed at criticism directed at him. “Never seen such a politics of hatred in Maharashtra. Got elected 14 times in 47 years and yet my election to the RS is targeted out of hatred,” he wrote in another tweet.
The bone of contention is the number of seats each one of them should contest. During the 2009 elections, the NCP was allotted 22 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats, of which it could win only nine. The Congress, which contested the remaining seats, is now demanding more representation, while the NCP is in no mood to relinquish any of the seats it was allotted last time. The NCP has made public its displeasure, as Patel asserted that options were open, and made conciliatory overtures towards BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
Interestingly, Pawar also said on Sunday that no debate should be conducted on Modi’s role in the 2002 riots, as court has given him a clean chit.
However, NCP leader and Union Minister Tariq Anwar made it clear that his party had ideological differences with Modi and the BJP, and ruled out any pact with them.
“We have ideological differences with Modi. It is not about a particular individual. We have been with secular forces and will continue to remain with them. We can’t afford to tie up with communal forces,” he said and added that though the court has given him (Modi) a clean chit, he was still under suspicion.