Congress appears to be testing the patience of NCP chief Sharad Pawar on the issue of seat sharing for the Maharashtra Assembly elections even as time is running out.

The schedule for the October 13 election is out, but the talks between the two allies for seat sharing is yet to begin formally.

Time is running out as the last date for nomination is September 25, leaving only 19 days for the two parties to get their act together.

The sudden death of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy is being ascribed as the reason for the delay in talks between the two allies which have been sharing power in the state for last 10 years.

Congress sources revealed that the party had commissioned a survey in the state recently which has predicted that the party will get between 102 to 110 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly.

The survey puts the figure of NCP at half that of Congress between 48 to 58 seats.

A section of the Congress leaders are contending that the party could think of a post-poll alliance with NCP like it did after the 1999 polls.