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Congress-NCP begin seat-sharing talks
August 24, 2004 12:44 IST
The meeting is being held at 'Agradoot', official residence of state Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam, in Mumbai. The talks will cover issues like the number of seats to be contested by each party, the formula for seat-sharing, and the seats to be offered to other allies, party sources said.
Those present at the meeting include Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Prabha Rau, Kadam, state NCP chief R R Patil, NCP leader Ajit Pawar and former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal. However, the final decision on seat-sharing will be taken by the senior leaders of both parties in New Delhi soon, the sources added.
Today's talks are the first formal exercise between the two parties after they agreed to form a pre-poll alliance. Both parties had contested the 1999 assembly elections separately but forged an alliance to form the government after the results. All India Congress Committee general secretary and party affairs in-charge for Maharashtra, Margaret Alva, had held a meeting of senior Congress leaders from Maharashtra in New Delhi to set the broad guidelines for the talks.
The NCP leadership, at the party's recent conclave in Aurangabad, had discussed the strategy for an alliance with the Congress and expressed its desire to continue the Congress-NCP-Republican Party of India tie-up for the assembly polls to take on the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine.
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