Tribune News Service
Mumbai, February 12
With seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party getting stuck over four seats, the state-level leaderships of the two parties have decided to let their party “high commands” to seal the deal, according to sources.
Negotiations between the two parties have been stuck for the past several weeks though their state-level leaders have broadly decided on how many seats to be given to their smaller allies. "Talks are stuck on Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nandurbar and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seats," says a Congress leader from Mumbai.
According to reports, the Congress party wants to field Sujay Vikhe-Patil, son of Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, leader of the opposition in the state assembly from Ahmednagar. The party is not willing to concede Aurangabad to the NCP in return as demanded by leaders of the two parties. On the other hand, the NCP wants the Congress to swap Nandurbar or Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg for other seats.
With state leaders of both parties holding firm, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi will take a final call in the matter in the next few weeks.
There are also reports about the Vikhe-Patil family and the Pawar clan patching up their differences that have played out in Western Maharashtra's politics for the past several years.
Both the Congress and the NCP have more or less decided on accommodating several smaller parties from their "quota" of seats, according to sources.
Apart from Prakash Ambedkar's Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh, there is the CPI, Hitendra Thakur's Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, farm leader Raju Shetti's Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Samajwadi Party and the Peasants and Workers' Party. A few caste-based outfits are also angling for a seat or two from the two Congress parties, according to sources.