NCP Accuses Congress of Delaying Alliance Talks
The NCP-Congress alliance appeared to be under strain with the leading UPA ally issuing not-so-friendly statements against the grand old party’s delaying tactics in wrapping of the alliance talks for Maharashtra Lok Sabha seats and about BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s bright prospects.
Though NCP chief Sharad Pawar rushed to deny reports that he has had a ‘secret powwow’ with Modi as ‘mischievous’ and ‘baseless’, his party leaders, Praful Patel and D P Tripathi, were not averse to hint that “all options were open”.
Complaining the Congress was not giving much importance to its alliance with the NCP, Patel said, “It’s unforAtunate that the Congress has delayed the alliance talks with us in Mahasrashtra far too long.’’
Of the 48 Lok Sabha seat, the Congress is unwilling to part with no more than 17, the NCP is not ready to settle for anything less than 23. This tussle over Maharashtra seats is at the core of the current NCP-Congress bad vibes, at least that’s what the Congress would like to believe.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, sounding a bit on the back-foot cautiously, said, “We have had a long association with the NCP, there’s no reason to believe that it will not continue. We hope all issues can be amicably settled. I do not think Pawar would make any drastic move, he’s our trusted ally.’’