With Congress-NCP finalising their seat sharing arrangement in Maharashtra for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, both coalition partners will now embark on a joint campaign with a public rally here on February 23. Congress sources said the rally will mostly be held in Mumbai and will be attended by leaders of both parties.
A joint campaign committee is likely to be set up in the next few days to plan election and campaign strategy and holding of joint public meetings, sources informed. The final list of seats to be contested by both parties will be declared by February 15. Party sources said even though NCP has declared that it will not give up Kolhapur Lok Sabha seat, congress has not given up its claim on Kolhapur as well as Hingoli.
Sitting Independent MP Sadashiv Mandlik has joined the Congress and will be contesting again from Kolhapur. Similarly, swapping of Raigad constituency with NCP is open for discussion, sources added. Sources said efforts will be taken to ensure better coordination and reduce rebellion among the two coalition partners. “Given the perception of anti-Congress wave in the country, it is in the interest of both parties that their numbers increase to boost the national tally,” sources added.
NCP sources had said on Tuesday that swapping of one or two seats would be done only if there is consensus failing which both parties would contest on the same seats it did last time. “We have demanded Raigad and offered Hatkanangale to the Congress,” state NCP chief Bhaskar Jadhav had said.
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