In Maharashtra, Congress will contest 26 seats, NCP 22

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party will stick to the seat-sharing formula adopted for the last Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra. In the coming general election, the Congress will again contest from 26 constituencies and the NCP in the remaining 22, though the former pitched for an additional three seats.

This decision came at a meeting at NCP leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s residence on Monday.

There is, however, a possibility of the two parties swapping some seats in Marathwada and north Maharashtra.

The others present at the meeting included the NCP’s Praful Patel and Congress leaders A.K. Antony, Ahmed Patel, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan, party general secretary in charge of the State Mohan Prakash and PCC chief Manikrao Thakre.

For the United Progressive Alliance, Maharashtra is a key State as it is the second largest in terms of Lok Sabha seats, after Uttar Pradesh. The NCP is the Congress’ oldest ally and the two parties have been contesting Lok Sabha elections together since 2004. They have been sharing power in Maharashtra since 1999, soon after Mr. Pawar parted ways on the issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin.