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NCP confident for alliance with Congress in upcoming Maharashtra polls

NCP confident for alliance with Congress in upcoming Maharashtra polls
Patel said the parties have reached a consensus on 40 Lok Sabha seats, while a decision on the remaining eight constituencies in the state is yet to be made.

The NCP and the Congress have made progress in their seat-sharing talks in Maharashtra for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and their alliance with like-minded parties would get "great success" in the election, NCP leader Praful Patel said Friday. Patel said the parties have reached a consensus on 40 Lok Sabha seats, while a decision on the remaining eight constituencies in the state is yet to be made. Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh's 80. The two parties are currently holding discussions with like-minded parties on sharing the seats, he added.

"The Congress and the NCP have made progress in their discussions on seat-sharing in Maharashtra for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha election. "We are always of the opinion that like-minded parties should come together. I am sure that the alliance will achieve great success," he told reporters. The former Union minister made the remarks even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a meeting with key leaders to discuss the party's preparation for the Lok Sabha polls.

"We want to bring parties which believe in (chief Constitution maker) B R Ambedkar's ideology together," Patel added, without naming any political outfit. Sources said the leaders also discussed resolution of differences among them in certain constituencies, including Beed, ahead of the elections. The sources said the seat-sharing would be finalised by the central leadership of the Congress and the NCP. "The ball is in the court of the central leaders. The two parties would submit their respective reports regarding seat-sharing to their respective central leaders. "Based on that the arrangement will be finalised," they added.

According to sources, the NCP is likely to field former Maharashtra minister Sunil Tatkare from Raigad Lok Sabha seat, where another party leader Bhaskar Jadhav had staked claim. Similarly, the party may again field Dhananjay Mahadik from Kolhapur. "There were bickering among party leaders in these constituencies. Pawar saheb resolved it in the meeting held today," a senior leader said, wishing not to be named.

The party, which will complete 20 years of its existence in June this year, is likely to retain candidatures of Supriya Sule and Udayanraje Bhosale from Baramati and Satara seats, respectively, the leader added. The NCP at present has four Lok Sabha MPs from the state: Sule (Baramati), Mahadik (Kolhapur), Bhosale (Satara) and Vijaysinh Mohite Patil (Madha).

(With inputs from agencies.)

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