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NCP wats even split of seats in Maharashtra

By A Correspondent in Delhi
February 14, 2009 20:24 IST
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Maharashtra's Nationalist Congress Party leaders decided on Saturday to insist on equal share of 24 of the 48 seats in the state from the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

A meeting was held at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar at his residence in Delhi,where party leaders made it clear that the party would not accept the seat-sharing formula agreed  upon in the 2004 elections, according to a minister who participated.

Pawar had convened the meeting of NCP leaders, which included  his nephew Ajit Pawar, to firm up the party's stand before making a final decision at the NCP's national executive meeting in New Delhi on Monday.

Asked about the seats that the NCP wants to contest, the minister said that would be sorted out only after the Congress agrees to the 50:50 seat-sharing formula. He said the NCP would give one of the seats from its quota to Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawle.

There was, however, no discussion on sparing some seats for the Samajwadi Party in Maharashtra. That is a matter of the national alliance which will come up for discussion in the national executive meeting, party sources said.

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A Correspondent in Delhi