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Exclusive Video: Sushilkumar Shinde on Maharashtra polls

Last updated on: September 19, 2009 

'Differences with NCP will be resolved'

Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who also heads the Maharashtra Congress Party election committee, said in New York on Friday that despite some irritants between Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar, seat adjustments would be done between the two parties for the coming assembly election.

Asked if the demands of the Congress party to have 50 percent of the 24 seats in Thane that the NCP has declined and the demand of NCP for 12 out of 36 seats in Mumbai that the Congress has so far refused are reconcilable, Shinde said that the issue will be resolved.

"The same thing happened when I was the (state) chief minister. The elections had taken place under my leadership. Even during those days these worrying questions were put to me by a number of journalists wherever I went. But finally it was proved that people have great faith in Congress and NCP," he said.

"The land (Maharashtra) is fertile for Congress-NCP win and we will capture it," he said.

Asked if the Congress is willing to give 12 seats to NCP in Mumbai as has been demanded by the party, Shinde parried a direct reply. "I do not know what exactly the discussions have been. I have been away for two or three days. I will not be able to answer the question," he said.

Shinde was in New York to primarily address prospective investors in India's power sector.

Giving a keynote at a two-day forum organised by Institutional Investor, Shinde said that India today is one of the few promising investment destinations in these recessionary times.

"In the electricity sector alone, we face a peaking shortage of almost 12 percent and an energy shortage of 9 to 10 percent. The exiting power deficit and a rising demand coupled with our commitment to provide access to electricity for all has necessitated a large scale capacity addition program," he said.

Shinde said that is where the opportunity for private investors, including foreign investors, lies.

"Such a gigantic task can be successful only when the efforts of the government are strongly supported and complemented by the private sector," he said.

"I wholeheartedly invite you to be a part of the India Growth story and share this excitement and opportunity with us. I am sure you will enjoy it," Shinde said before 60-odd prospective investors.

Text: Suman Guha Mozumder in New York

Video: Paresh Gandhi