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NCP holding interviews for all assembly seats, Congress peeved

Monday, 25 August 2014 - 9:00pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakare on Monday took objection to the ally NCP starting with interviews of ticket aspirants for all the 288 assembly constituencies.

Talking to reporters here, he said though the Congress had sought applications for all the 288 seats, interviews were conducted last week only for 174 constituencies in its quota.

"I held a meeting with state NCP president Sunil Tatkare asking him to conduct interviews for 114 seats in their quota. After the seat-sharing formula is worked out and seats are swapped (wherever necessary), we could complete candidate selection. Tatkare agreed," he said.

However, Thakare said, he had learnt that NCP had started interviewing aspirants for all the 288 seats. "I will apprise Congress leadership of this and take a decision on conducting interviews for remaining 114 seats," he added. NCP should not do anything that will create misunderstanding between the ruling coalition partners, he added.

NCP sources said on Monday, on the first day, the party conducted interviews for all the 36 seats in Mumbai, 24 in Thane and 18 in the Konkan region. Thakare also said that results of assembly by-elections in four states were a sign of people's disenchantment with the Narendra Modi government. "The mood is changing in favour of Congress and this would help the party in the Maharashtra polls," he claimed.

Accusing the Modi government of "politics of vendetta", the state Congress chief said, with reference to recent heckling of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at a function attended by Modi, that it did not bode well for the democracy that people in power took pleasure in "humiliating others".

To a question on leaders from Congress and NCP crossing over to Shiv Sena or BJP, Thakare claimed that mostly it was NCP which had seen defections.

"It is a fact that some people are switching sides. These are the people who have realised that they will not gain anything by staying with the parent party and are giving up the ideology for selfish ends.
"The grass-root cadre is firmly with Congress. Sena-BJP do not even have candidates in many constituencies," he added.

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