AHEAD OF the Lok Sabha elections next year, the Congress and NCP began talks on pre-poll alliance on Friday. Although the meeting remained inconclusive, both parties maintained they have started discussions on seat sharing arrangements.
While party insiders said that NCP has sought at least 23 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats, Congress leaders indicated that a final decision in this regard is a long way off.
Speaking to mediapersons, state Congress president Ashok Chavan said, “The Congress and the NCP have started pre-poll alliance talks. A formal decision on seat sharing remains inconclusive.”
He, however, ruled out the possibility of Congress allying with Shiv Sena and MNS. “The Congress is against alliance with Sena and MNS,” he said.
The Congress, meanwhile, has deputed senior leaders Manikrao Thakre and Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil to discuss alliance with Bharipa Bahujansamaj Party chief Prakash Ambedkar. SP chief Abu Azmi is also in talks with the party, said Chavan.
Meanwhile, NCP MLA Jeetendra Awad on Friday met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.
The NCP claimed Awad met Thackeray to invite him for a book release event at Thane. “There was nothing political in the meeting. Our talks are on with Congress for alliance. We have shortlisted our constituencies. Now, detailed discussions will take place on seat sharing arrangement,” said NCP state president Jayant Patil.