Pawar urges Congress to declare national-level pre-poll alliances

March 1st, 2009 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Nashik (Maharashtra), March 1 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar Sunday urged the Congress to take a lead in declaring national-level, pre-poll alliances with its partners.
“As a big party, the Congress should come out with the pre-poll alliance and alliance partners should get a chance to contest from constituencies in which they are strong,” he said, addressing the party’s crucial state-level convention here.

Pawar said although he has spoken to different parties like Jayalalitha’s AIADMK and N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP), no final decision has been taken.

“The NCP does not want to fight the elections on its own. For the present, we are with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA),” he said.

Toughening the party’s stance on the issue of getting a 50 percent share of seats in Maharashtra, he said that if the Congress did not relent, then the NCP would have to rethink the issue.

Addressing the convention, state Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal urged the Congress to give 50 percent seats and share the chief minister’s post for the forthcoming assembly elections, due later this year.

Justifying the demand, Bhujbal said that this was in view of the fact that the NCP’s strength had grown as compared to the Congress. “In such a situation, why should we settle for a secondary position?” he asked.

Apart from Bhujbal, other senior NCP leaders like Tariq Anwar and state president R.R. Patil spoke at the convention.

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