Pressing for its demand for equal seat sharing in the upcoming assembly election, the Congress in Maharashtra has rejected the NCP's demand. NCP spokesman Nawab Malik told reporters that in the co-ordination committee meeting held last night with the Congress leadership, NCP had raised the demand that it be given equal share, out of the 288 constituencies, in the seat sharing formula to contest in the assembly elections.
"Congress leadership told our representatives that the demand was not possible to meet. We insisted that our side be heard before arriving at any conclusion as the party strength has increased. Now, NCP chief Sharad Pawar will take a call on the future course of action later this week," Malik said.
Pawar has convened a meeting of state leaders including deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NCP state President Sunil Tatkare to discuss the future course of action. Senior leader Praful Patel will also be present.
"The Congress's refusal will be deliberated upon and also what to do next," Malik said. Meanwhile, when asked about the NCP's stand, State Congress spokesperson Ratnakar Mahajan said both parties were in alliance at the state and at the Central level.
"We want the alliance to continue. On as to how to operationalise the alliance, it will be discussed at the state and then at the Centre level. Yesterday's meeting was a preliminary meeting," he said.
Meanwhile, Tatkare told reporters that his party had put forth the demand of contesting on 144 seats in the meeting.
"Even the Congress leaders discussed about their stand. It was decided that our leader Praful Patel will speak to Sharad Pawar, while AICC general secretary Mohan Prakash will discuss the deliberations of the meeting with the Congress leadership and another meeting of the co-ordination committee would be convened," he said.
Tatkare said the re-induction of former MLA Ramesh Kadam into the party fold would enthuse party workers in the Konkan region. Kadam had quit the party before general election and had contested the Lok Sabha election as a Peasants and Workers Party candidate.
Tatkare, however, refused to comment on Narayan Rane's resignation, saying that it was an internal matter of the Congress party. On the incident Shiv Sena MP force-feeding an employee at New Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi, Tatkare said it "unfortunate" and against the state's culture.
Replying to a query, he said no proposal of Samajwadi party joining the Congress-NCP coalition, has been made.