No longer content with playing second fiddle in the alliance after winning more seats than the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has demanded a 50:50 seat sharing deal in the forthcoming state assembly elections.
“We will demand 144 of the 288 assembly seats since we won twice as many seats as the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls,” said State NCP President Sunil Tatkare on Thursday. He also said that the Chief Minister’s post should go to the party that manages to win the largest number of seats.
In the 2009 assembly polls, the NCP had contested 114 seats while the Congress had fought from 174 seats. In the Lok Sabha polls, the NCP won four seats while the Congress could win only two.
Since the Lok Sabha results, NCP leaders have become much more aggressive with their ally with party chief Sharad Pawar himself pointing out that parties that joined hands with the Congress performed poorly.
Sections of the party are pushing to contest the elections solo, without an alliance with the Congress. However, Mr. Tatkare said that the Congress and NCP would contest the elections together.
Meanwhile the Congress has said the NCP has not made any official demand on seat-sharing. “We have yet to begin seat sharing talks and no such demand has been made so far. One thing is certain, that the Congress and NCP will be contesting the polls together,” said State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre.