Poll dates out but Maharashtra alliances still not sealed

March 3rd, 2009 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyMumbai, March 3 (IANS) A day after the Lok Sabha election schedule was announced, major political parties in Maharashtra have still not managed to firm up their alliances for the polls.
Even as the election ball is set rolling, the two main combines - the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena - are still grappling with finalizing their respective alliances.

Though sources in the respective parties are hopeful that everything will ultimately prove “positive”, doubts still linger.

An NCP spokesman said that though the pre-poll alliance with Congress may work out as per mutual expectations, he was unwilling to comment on the post-election scenario.

A Shiv Sena spokesperson was more optimistic, both pre-poll and post-poll, claiming that the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance ws aiming for 40 of the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats.

The Congress-NCP combine has set a more realistic target of around 35 seats.

A senior NCP leader, dismissing speculation of the party’s understanding with the Shiv Sena, said: “Personal friendships of our respective leaders apart, an understanding like this would be damaging to NCP at the national level.”

“The problem is that Shiv Sena is not keen to go with the BJP. On its part, the BJP is feeling very isolated in the state with no party willing to join hands with it. That is why they have to bring (Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi for launching the campaign in what is the second most important state in the country (in terms of Lok Sabha seats),” he explained.

Uttar Pradesh sends the maximum number of MPs - 80 - to the Lok Sabha

A Congress leader said that the final picture on its talks with the NCP will be clear very soon and despite differences, the two parties are geared to face the challenges of the next two months.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, of Maharashta’s 48 seats, the Congress bagged 13, the NCP bagged nine, the BJP 13, the Shiv Sena 12 and the Republican Party of India one.

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