Cautioning that rigidity in seat-sharing formula would help communal forces, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said, “At the same time, pre-poll alliance has to be respectable.”
Chavan was addressing a rally of farmers at Dhayari organised by Haveli Taluka Congress Committee for inaugurating the party office of Khadakwasla assembly segment.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakare presided over the rally. Minister for forests Patangrao Kadam, minister for cooperation Harshawardhan Patil, MPCC women’s state unit president Kamal Vyavahare, Congress district unit president Devidas Bhansali, city unit president Abhay Chhajed, deputy mayor Bandu Gaikwad, MLAs and MLCs were present.
Chavan said that people ask as to why Congress goes for alliance with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) but one has to keep in mind that the real challenge is from communal forces. He said that there is a need for discussion on seat sharing and one should not make it an ego issue. Chavan said that the alliance has to be respectable also.
Thakare said that taking into account the increased strength of the party, Congress could press for 29-18 formula for seat sharing and demand for 29 Lok Sabha seats. He said that Congress has won 17 seats out of 26 it contested in the Lok Sabha elections and Congress has always maintained flexibility in this regard for maintaining the alliance.
Taking a cue from former cabinet minister Anantrao Thopate’s criticism of NCP president Sharad Pawar, Chavan said, “In 1999, a dream for becoming the prime minister for someone had resulted in division in the Congress. This resulted in Thopate and myself facing defeat. It deprived Thopate of the post of chief minister.”
When asked about the progress in Narendra Dabholkar murder case, Chavan said, “Police have received information but it is not sufficient for making any arrest.’ Skirting the question on contesting Mumbai Cricket Association elections, Chavan maintained that he has only acquired membership of a cricket club.
Attending a function of Pune Festival on Tuesday, Chavan lauded Suresh Kalmadi’s efforts to organise the festival for the past 25 years. “It is Kalmadi who has been following the Pune Metro project for a long time and the project is likely to come in the next cabinet meeting,” the CM said. Kalmadi was also present at the event