The Congress-NCP combine is likely to contest the five council seats together. While the Congress is likely to contest three seats and the NCP will contest two. The two parties do not intend to fight the elections to legislative council separately and run the risk of being defeated.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre has earlier wrote a letter to the NCP state president Bhaskar Jadhav expressing intentions to contest the five seats as an alliance.
The five seats going to polls are Pune Graduates constituency, Pune Teachers' constituency, Aurangabad Graduates constituency, Amravati Teachers' constituency and the Nagpur Graduates constituency. The Congress-NCP alliance has a tough fight at hand given that none of the five seats except one are held by the Congress-NCP alliance. The Aurangabad Graduates constituency had elected a NCP member last occasion.
According to Congress sources, the NCP is likely to contest the Aurangabad Graduates constituency and the Pune Graduates constituency, while the Congress is likely to contest Amravati Teachers' constituency, Nagpur Graduates constituency and Pune Teachers' constituency. An official declaration from both parties is expected to be made soon.
The Pune Graduates constituency is held by the BJP, similarly the Nagpur Graduates constituency was also held by the BJP. It is represented by former BJP president Nitin Gadkari.
"If we had fought alone there would have been great chances that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance would have defeated us as these seats have always been won by the BJP. Both parties were forced by circumstances to ensure that they come together," said a Congress leader.
This is not all, the members of the Congress-NCP will also be dividing 12 Legislative Council seats, which have fallen vacant. All the 12 seats are nominated and the Congress-NCP alliance would want to ensure that the nominations are carried out before the assembly elections so as to ensure the next government does not get a chance to nominate the members.