The Congress and the NCP are finding
it difficult to have an understanding on contesting eight out
of 48 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra, even after
reaching a consensus on distribution of other seats among the
two parties and their other allies, according to sources.
Leaders of the Congress and the NCP met here Friday to
iron out differences on 8 constituencies but put off the
matter till after Diwali on November 7.
The two parties said a few days back that they had
reached consensus on 40 seats at stake in next year's polls.
The eight Lok Sabha seats, over which the differences
persist, are Pune, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalna, Raver,
Jalgaon, Yavatmal and Shirdi.
According to a source, the NCP wants to contest from the
Pune seat, with demands in the party that its chief Sharad
Pawar should enter the fray from there.
But, traditionally, the Congress has been contesting the
Pune seat. Last time, the BJP had won the seat.
Pawar, the former union minister and Maharashtra Chief
Minister, had declared in 2014 that he would not contest Lok
Sabha polls again and reiterated it last month.
The 78-year-old NCP chief, who has represented Baramati
and Madha constituencies in the past, is at present a member
of the Rajya Sabha.
Asked about the possibility of Pawar contesting from
Pune, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik ruled it out.
"No, nothing like that. Such a possibility was denied
in the past too," he said.
Malik said the workers had demanded that Pawar contest
the Lok polls again but he had refused.
"The two parties want to swap some seats. The Congress
has been contesting from Shirdi, while NCP has traditionally
been contesting from Ahmednagar. This time, the Congress is
demanding Ahmednagar," a source in the Congress told PTI.
The NCP contested Raver constituency last time but now,
the Congress wants to field candidate from there, the source
Another source said senior Congress leaders would meet
the party's ticket aspirants and workers, particularly from
the eight seats concerned, for three days beginning November
15 to know their view point and gauge ground realities.
After that, the Congress and NCP leaders may meet once
again on November 18 and November 19.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the NCP had won four
seats while the Congress could manage to win only two.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Maharashtra
NCP chief Jayant Patil said he was confident that differences
would be sorted out soon and the two parties would take
He said the two parties would discuss the seat-sharing
issues again later this month.
"Leaders of the Congress and NCP may meet again for
one more time. There are not too many differences between the
parties. If the differences persist we will meet again and
present the situation before the central leadership," he
Meanwhile, the Haatkanangale constituency is likely to
go to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana led by Raju Shetti,
according to the understanding in the opposition camp.
The source added that the Akola constituency too may go
to the Prakash Ambedkar-led Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) if
it joins the alliance.
The BBM has already announced its decision to join hands
with the Asaduddin Owaisi-headed AIMIM, but efforts were still
on to bring the Ambedkar-led party into the alliance led by
Congress and NCP.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)