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Congress worried about Pawar's stand on Vidarbha

September 14, 2004 16:28 IST

The Congress appears to be in a dilemma over Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar's suggestion to include the Vidarbha statehood issue in the joint manifesto as leaders from the rest of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Konkan, feel it would be suicidal for the party in these regions.

These leaders have cautioned the Congress leadership that a separate Vidarbha stand would help the Shiv Sena recover lost ground. The Shiv Sena had managed only one seat in Mumbai with the Congress bagging the other five in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress and NCP have arrived at an understanding on seat sharing in the Vidarbha region but failed to do so in Mumbai, which has 34 assembly constituencies.

Pawar had called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi on September 7 to discuss the issue but apparently could not break the deadlock. The Congress chief is understood to have suggested that the NCP president not 'bother' much about the issue given his stature as a senior leader.

The discussions are expected to resume on Wednesday when Pawar arrives in Delhi.

Assembly elections in Maharashtra will be held on October 13.

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