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Cong-NCP to woo rebel leaders in Maharashtra

October 22, 2009 12:06 IST

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday said the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance will secure the 'magic figure' to form the state government.

"We will get the magic figure to form the government. There may be a difference of two-three seats, but with 21 rebels leading in the state, it's not difficult to achieve the majority," Bhujbal told reporters.

Expressing hope that the Congress-NCP combine would reach the magic figure of 145 seats, he said the ruling alliance was leading in 139 seats, while the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine was stuck at the 100-seat mark.

On the performance of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in its first assembly polls, Bhujbal said the party has not caused any trouble to the NCP. "I was expecting the party to get 6 to 12 seats and the MNS is leading in almost the same number of seats," he said.

Asked about his suggestion to the Congress to implement the 50-50 formula for the post of chief minister, Bhujbal said, "It was just a suggestion by me".

"I had said that the Congress practiced the formula in the Kashmir assembly with the People's Democratic Party, then why not here? However, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has made it clear that the party is not in the CM's race, so there is no controversy over the issue," he said.

On the possibility of changing portfolios, he said there was no such proposal before the ruling combine.

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