MUMBAI: After the Congress discarded the NCP’s demand to contest the Assembly polls from half of the 288 seats in Maharashtra, the latter is set to take a decision on their alliance at a meeting here on Saturday.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told NCP leaders that the Congress could not accept their demand.
“We insisted on half of the seats, but the Chief Minister took a stand that it was not possible. We are going to hold a meeting on Saturday to decide the next strategy. Our president (Sharad) Pawar saheb will also be present at the crucial meeting,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
The Congress’ stand has shocked the NCP, which had expected the party would be ready for negotiations rather than rejecting its demand outright.
An NCP source said the party would give up its demand for equally dividing the seats between the alliance partners. “We are expecting some more seats in Mumbai. There are several constituencies in the city where neither the NCP nor Congress has a chance to win. We will demand these constituencies to pacify some of our workers who are willing to contest,” the source said.
Chavan said the seat-sharing formula should be respectable to both parties. “There is no point in discussing other things if the formula is not respectable,” he said in Pune.