Even as the rift between Congress and NCP on the issue of seat-sharing for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections remained wide open, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday sought to play down differences between the two coalition partners.
Asked whether the Democratic Front (DF) alliance of the two parties would be intact to fight together the October polls, Pawar said, “There is nothing to worry on that count.”
The NCP leader, who spoke informally to reporters after performing ‘Aarti’ at a Ganesh temple on the day of immersion, said in a lighter vein, “Let us have a positive thinking today as we are bidding adieu to Lord Ganesh.”
Both Congress and NCP, which have ruled in the state for over a decade, have been at loggerheads of late with a satisfactory seat-sharing formula still evading the two parties that received a severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections held in May this year.
The insistence of NCP on getting 144 out of 288 seats has been the main stumbling block in the negotiations with Congress stubbornly refusing to leave more than 114 seats for its partner, sticking to the last Assembly elections’ formula.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recently, however, hinted that both the parties would need to adopt a flexible approach in the “larger interests” (to keep away ‘communal forces’ from power) of the state.