August 30, 2009 11:40:56 pm
With a formal pre-poll alliance between the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress yet to be announced for the Assembly elections,the NCP is gearing up to submit its list of candidates to NCP president Sharad Pawar on August 31.
The process to interview probable candidates is on. District Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar said the NCP will contest all the 288 seats in the state in case an alliance does not materialise.
The NCP is busy conducting interviews for selecting candidates. City NCP unit chief Jaidev Gaikwad said they had received 130 applications and 17 of them would be appearing for the interviews. On Saturday,we conducted interviews for Hadapsar Assembly constituency and on Sunday the remaining seven constituencies will be taken up, Gaikwad said. NCP leaders Ajit Pawar,Dilip Valse Patil and Ramesh Shenge conducted the interviews.
While talking at a press meet on Saturday,Ajit Pawar said the party wanted to join Congress to avoid division of secular votes. He said they wanted to contest 124 seats if the alliance takes shape. During municipal elections in Mumbai the alliance with Congress failed to materialise and there was a lot of confusion. We want to avoid this and so we will interview party aspirants for all 288 seats,he said.
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Another senior leader from the NCP said they were capable of going it alone as they were strong in all the eight Assembly constituencies in the city. We are strong in Pune as well as in Western Maharashtra and we can go alone, he said.
The party will decide on the seat after the meeting of the senior leaders of both NCP and Congress,said Gaikwad. The Congress on Friday mounted pressure on the NCP with leaders saying they would have no truck with NCP ally Jan Surajya Shakti (JSS),and a Congress-dominated Lok Sabha Estimates Committee picking holes in figures presented by Sharad Pawars party.
Earlier,senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi had accused Pawar of misrepresenting facts about the availability of sugar. On Friday,the Estimates Committee,whose 30 members include many Congress MPs,picked out discrepancies in figures presented by the Department of Agriculture on Thursday and those given by the Department of Food & Public Distribution. There was a difference of 10 lakh hectares in the figures for sown areas presented by the two wings of the same Ministry. The committee had sought a reply within a week.
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