After a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the two parties will fight the Maharashtra Assembly polls together. The announcement came on the back of reports of friction between the ruling Congress-NCP alliance in the state over the issue of seat sharing ahead of the elections due later this year.
“The Congress and NCP will fight together in Maharashtra. I had a meeting with the Congress president today morning,” Pawar said. The Congress and NCP are in coalition in Maharashtra since 1999. Pawar had earlier said only Sonia and he could take a call on the issue.
After the Congress’s dismal show in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, including in Maharashtra, state NCP leaders have been demanding that the parties contest the 288 seats in the state on a 50:50 basis. The Congress has been reluctant to change the seat sharing formula of 174:114 that was in place during the 2009 Assembly polls.
Pawar’s statement could put speculation to rest at a time when reports of his party exploring the possibility of a grand alliance with the BSP, SP and the Left have been gaining ground.