Congress will be contesting 174 seats and NCP 114 in the October 13 assembly election in Maharashtra, a senior Congress leader said on Thursday. Senior Haryana minister Birendra Singh, who is heading the screening committee for Maharashtra, said the two parties have stitched the alliance under which Congress would contest 174 and NCP 114 seats respectively. Congress' screening committee is meeting in Delhi on Friday over the issue. Union minister and senior Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh said in Mumbai, "we have finalised about 95 per cent of the seats but differences remain on about a dozen others in Mumbai and Pune belt. We hope the matter will be sorted out in Delhi by tomorrow." state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said the central leadership would be consulted on the disputed seats and "a final decision will be taken accordingly".
State Nationalist Congress Party president R R Patil too hoped that the minor irritants in the way of a pact will be resolved in Delhi. The pre-poll buzz is that Congress and NCP would go to polls on the theme of Rashtra ke bad Maharashtra (Maharashtra to take cue from nation) in an obvious reference to the victory of the United Progressive Alliance coalition in the Lok Sabha polls.
The first list of the Congress would be out by September 20 and a senior party functionary said the first list is likely to be of those seats where there is no dispute between Congress and NCP. The party leader added that disputes are on around 15 seats affected due to delimitation on which both parties are staking their claim.