Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel on Friday said the Congress was delaying seat-sharing talks with his party in Maharashtra.

Talking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr. Patel said the Sharad Pawar-led party wanted its alliance with Congress to continue.

“But, we are losing patience because Congress was delaying alliance talks,” the Union Minister said, adding this was creating confusion.

Mr. Patel said he would be meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who belongs to Congress, later in the day to discuss seat-sharing arrangement for Lok Sabha polls.

He said need of the hour was to have a clarity on alliance between the two parties, who share power in Maharashtra as well at the Centre. “We are in alliance with the Congress and this will continue.”

Mr. Patel rejected media reports that NCP President and Union Minister Sharad Pawar had met BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Delhi earlier this month.

Mr. Pawar met the Gujarat Chief Minister in his capacity as Agriculture Minister a year ago, he said.

Mr. Patel also said that reports of NCP alliance or talks with BJP are baseless. “Our stand is clear that we are in alliance with Congress and will continue to do so.”

He lamented that Congress has delayed the seat alliance talks for far too long which is not a good sign.

“Elections are round the corner and political parties need clarity on issues and alliance. Options are open to all political parties,” he said.

NCP had contested 22 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats while Congress had contested 26.

The party has been holding extensive deliberations for preparations of the Lok Sabha polls and finalised candidates for 22 seats it contested last time as well.

However, Congress is yet to initiate seat sharing talks saying that it was waiting for the Antony Committee to take a decision on the alliance first.