Other States

Congress, NCP decide to contest equal number of seats

To field candidates in 123-125 seats each

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said his party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have finalised to contest 123 to 125 Assembly seats each and leave the rest of the 288 open for discussion or share them with smaller allies.

“As per the discussions till now, Congress is going to contest somewhere between 123 and 125 seats, while an equal number of seats will be contested by the NCP. Discussions on around 40 seats is yet to take place,” Mr. Chavan said at a press conference.

While in 2014, the two parties contested independently, prior to that, the Congress would have a larger share. However, given that the NCP won four seats in the Lok Sabha polls and the Congress only one, the allies seem to have agreed on contesting an equal number of seats.

When asked about other allies, Mr. Chavan said the Congress is in talks with the Samajwadi Party and the Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Paksha. “We want to join hands with Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi. But they are not willing to form an alliance with the NCP … We can give them a few seats from our share, but they have to accept NCP as well,” Mr. Chavan said. He ruled out any talk of alliance with the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen.

When asked whether the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena will be part of the alliance, Mr. Chavan said local level talks could be under way. “But we have not yet decided,” he said.

On Wednesday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi. According to sources, the meeting was to finalise the seat-sharing formula.

Earlier, Mr. Chavan said the State government was not doing enough to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) into the State, and dared Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to provide district-wise figures of FDI inflow since 2014.

Speaking about the Centre’s ambitious plans to get the country’s economy to the $5 trillion mark by 2025, Mr. Chavan said knowing the size of an economy was not enough to gauge its health. “You need to know the GDP growth rate and the current per capita income. I challenge the Centre and Maharashtra government to provide the correct figures. Our economy is in a shambles due to the policies of the Narendra Modi government. It has been misleading the youth and farmers,” Mr. Chavan said.

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Printable version | May 24, 2020 8:31:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-ncp-decide-to-contest-equal-number-of-seats/article29386921.ece

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