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The Battle for Maharashtra

Cong-NCP meet for post-poll strategy

October 15, 2004 17:32 IST
Last Updated: October 15, 2004 20:02 IST

A day ahead of counting of votes for the Maharashtra assembly polls, the top leadership of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party on Friday began discussion to fine-tune their strategy for the post-poll scenario.

The meeting of senior Democratic Front leaders was held at Silver Oak, the residence of Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in south Mumbai.

The ruling combination, which exit polls say has an edge over the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party, discussed ways to enlist support of rebels and independents, DF sources said.

"We reviewed the scenario region-wise and district-wise," MPCC chief Prabha Rau told waiting mediapersons.

It is understood that both the coalition partners will be talking to rebels, who stand a good chance of winning some seats, from their respective parties and seek their support to facilitate the government formation process.

The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of Governor Mohammed Fazal's communication to chiefs of political parties asking them to furnish before October 18 detail about their pre-poll alliances and whether they wish to continue with the same after the results.

Besides Pawar and Rau, those present at the meeting included Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, NCP leaders R R Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress' Patangrao Kadam.

On Thursday, both the political parties met separately to discuss the post-poll situation.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena-BJP leadership is also 'in touch' with some rebels and independents, who stand a chance of winning the elections, sources in the saffron combine said in Mumbai.

Opposition leader in the state assembly and former chief minister Narayan Rane and BJP state unit chief Gopinath Munde had spoken to some independents and rebels in the run up to the polls and this 'communication channel' is still open, the sources added.

Also Read:
Maharashtra gov does his own numbers

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