Announcing a seat-sharing pact with the Congress for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the two parties will contest 125 seats each while leaving 38 seats for allies.
Pawar was in Nashik when he announced his party’s decision to finalise the seat-sharing pact with the Grand Old Party. He also said that his party will give chance to “new faces” in the polls. Some seats will be exchanged with the Congress, he added.
Maharashtra has a total of 288 seats in the Assembly. Both Congress and NCP have been rattled by the drubbing they received in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra and a spate of defections from their ranks.
Key desertions from the Congress and the NCP camps have reshaped Maharashtra’s political landscape. As many as 24 senior leaders — including 13 serving legislators and 10 former ministers — have defected to join either the BJP or the Shiv Sena since the Congress-NCP alliance’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.
In 2014, the two parties had contested the state elections separately. Sharad Pawar had ended the 15-year alliance after the two parties had been unable to reach a seat-sharing arrangement.
Congress had won 42 seats while the NCP had won 41 seats in 2014. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 122 seats.
(With ENS inputs)