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Congress may contest 174 seats in Maharashtra

September 16, 2009 22:20 IST

The Congress and NCP are close to finalising a seat-sharing pact for next month's elections to the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly with the two parties likely to contest 174 and 114 seats respectively.

A senior Congress leader involved in the deliberations with NCP told PTI that the talks, which continued for the second day today, were in "final stages".

He said NCP has almost agreed to the seat-sharing formula proposed by the Congress.

"They can approach our party high command if they want more seats. But, as of now, they have more or less agreed to our proposal," he said.

The Congress leader said both parties have completed discussions for all the seats.

"We are meeting again in the evening to deliberate on seats to which both parties have staked claim. We are hopeful of concluding the discussions by tonight," he said.

In 2004, Congress and NCP had contested 164 and 124 seats respectively.

The Congress screening committee will meet in Delhi tomorrow to finalise the list of candidates for the October 13 Assembly elections.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Manikrao Thakre said the final decision on the Congress and NCP alliance will be announced in Delhi.

Meanwhile, talks to finalise constituencies continued at 'Varsha', the official residence of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, till late in the night.

Sources said deliberations were centered around the constituencies where both parties have staked claim.

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