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Home > News > PTI

Congress wary of 'trust deficit' with NCP

October 22, 2006 21:01 IST

The Congress has asked the Nationalist Congress Party, with which it shares power in Maharashtra, to address a "trust deficit" between the two parties ahead of civic elections in the state scheduled for January 2007.

The charge was made by Congress leaders at the first meeting of the high-level state coordination committee held recently to drive home the point that the party led by Sharad Pawar has much to do to bridge the deficit.

Congress sources said the trust deficit is becoming a key issue in the party in Mumbai as party members in overwhelming numbers are expressing their opposition to any truck with the NCP in the 2007 civic elections.

Calls by senior NCP leader and state Minister Chaggan Bhujbal that the Congress and NCP should jointly fight the polls to oust the Shiv Sena-BJP combine from power in the country's economic capital have had little impact.

This is despite the NCP suggesting that it would be foolhardy to assume that Shiv Sena is "dead" in view of recent bickering and internal turmoil, and former chief minister Narayan Rane joining the Congress, while Sena chief Bal Thackeray's nephew Raj floating a parallel outfit.

The refrain in the state unit of Congress is that the NCP has often "ditched" it, whether in assembly polls or the Rajya Sabha elections earlier in 2006, when Pawar sided with BJP-Shiv Sena to ensure the victory of his industrialist friend Rahul Bajaj, who contested as an independent.

Congress leaders say they want to avoid a division of secular votes in the key polls, which will be an acid test for the Shiv Sena, whose rise in the state was phenomenal since it captured the 227-member Mumbai Municipal Corporation over a decade ago.

They, however, say an alliance for this purpose could take shape only if the NCP adopted a practical approach and refrained from making exorbitant demands.

The ideal formula for seat-sharing, according to Congress leaders, would be that it and the NCP contest seats won by them in the last civic polls as well as those where they emerged second.

If this formula is accepted, the Congress could contest 158 seats, as it won 70 seats and was number two in 88 seats.

As against this, NCP will have to be content with a mere 44 seats, including 11 it won and 33 in which it was second.

The Congress, in such an eventuality, is ready to accommodate smaller allies like the RPI to forge a formidable secular alliance that could easily shake off the Shiv Sena-BJP challenge in the civic polls.

Besides, the problems faced by the saffron partners in recent days has been a matter of jubiliation in the Congress camp, as the BJP is seeking to find its place in the sun and wanting a level playing field in the changed scenario in Maharashtra.

In an indication that the battle has started for political supremacy between itself and the NCP, the Congress has announced that it is going it alone in the local body polls and not in an alliance with the NCP, but it has not taken a decision as regards Mumbai.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: I wish pawar recovery to save Dhariya.

Pawar controls Agriculture,irrigation,finance portfolios in Maharashtra and he is union agriculture minister too.Mohan Dhariya's life is extremly precious for country.He has sacrificed power politics for ...

Posted by Bagmar Satish C. A.

Sub: Pawar and BJP are relevant to each others.

Pawar knows how L. F. or thitd front cannot support or be supported by BJP.congress is indispensible in any secular arrangement.Hence for him BJP is ...

Posted by Bagmar Satish C. A.

Sub: in politics context matters NCP to note.

In 1998 had pawar not stabbed at back of congress,Vajpeyee govt was impossiblity.perhaps Pawar would have been compromise candidate as congress would have neared 200 ...

Posted by Bagmar Satish C,. A.

Sub: secular Vote

Why people shy away from changing "secular vote" by "muslim votes"? You can not keep running from truth..

Posted by Ajay



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