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NCP may have to settle for lesser seats with Congress

Last updated on: September 16, 2009 16:02 IST

Union minister Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party may have to settle for lesser number of seats than it had in the 2004 assembly elections, said sources from the party.

Leaders of the Congress and the NCP met on Wednesday in the second round of seat-sharing talks for the October 13 assembly elections. The first round of formal talks between the partners of the 10-year-old alliance in the state was held on Tuesday night, but remained inconclusive and both sides agreed to meet again the next day.

"The two sides have agreed to fight the assembly polls together to thwart the Shiv Sena-BJP combine's bid to wrest power and are working on constituency-wise winning probabilities," a senior Congress leader said, after the meeting began at Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's official residence 'Varsha' in south Mumbai.

Meanwhile, NCP leader Praful Patel in Delhi said his party was "ready to give up some seats" to Congress and the decision on seat-sharing would be taken amicably in a couple of days.

The meeting is expected to take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of both the parties as per their performance in the Lok Sabha elections, he said.

Congress is inclined to concede between 110 to 115 seats for NCP out of the total 288 assembly seats in Maharashtra, the leader said.

In the 2004 assembly elections, NCP contested from 122 seats and won 71, while Congress fought on 166 and bagged 69.

The chief minister, Maharshtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Manikrao Thakre, Maharashtra state minister Narayan Rane, Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh, and Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh are representing the Congress side, while Patel, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, state NCP chief R R Patil, State Water Resources Minister Ajit Pawar and Mumbai NCP president Sachin Ahir are representing the NCP.

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