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Decide on tie-up by December 31: NCP tells Congress

December 24, 2003 20:40 IST

The Nationalist Congress Party on Wednesday said that it was firm that the Congress decide before December 31 on a pre-poll alliance in Maharashtra.

"If the Congress fails to respond to it, then we will contest all 288 assembly seats and 48 Lok Sabha seats on our own," NCP spokesman Praful Patel told a news conference in Mumbai.

The warning comes even as the Congress is licking its wounds following the severe drubbing in the recent assembly elections in the Hindi heartland.

The NCP favours a front of secular parties to challenge the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in the coming assembly and Lok Sabha polls. NCP president Sharad Pawar had set December 31 as the deadline for secular parties to join hands to counter the communal forces.

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