Congress Signals Patch-up with NCP over LoP Issue
MUMBAI: The Congress’ gimmick for staking claim on the Leader of Opposition (LoP) post in the Lok Sabha is a signal that it will not break association with the NCP in Maharashtra, in spite of the latter’s threat to part ways over seat sharing.
The Congress has taken a stand that it deserves the LoP post because it is leading a group of parties, including the NCP. The NCP has six members in the Lok Sabha.
Maharashtra Congress leaders believe that the party’s stand is an indication that it does not want to break alliance with the NCP. They have taken this as a confirmation that the NCP is going to fight the Assembly election in alliance with the Congress. “Even if we desire to fight the elections alone, the high command will not allow us to do so. There will be some sort of compromise with the NCP over seat sharing, but the high command will not break the alliance,” a Congress leader said.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said break-up is not on the party’s agenda. “Presenly, we have concentrated on holding region-wise meetings to chalk out poll strategy. The high command will take an appropriate decision at the appropriate time,” he said.
A source said the Congress wants to gauge its workers’ mood before taking any decision on the alliance with the NCP. “We cannot ask the workers to keep distance with the NCP all of a sudden. If we want to break up we will prepare the workers psychologically. The region-wise meetings are part of the process,” he said.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar has threatened that the party will contest on all 288 seats in the Assembly elections if its demand for 144 seats is not met. Political observers believe that the threat is a bargaining tactic to get more seats than its quota of 114.