The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress will contest 125 seats each in next month’s Maharashtra state election, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday.
Pawar announced that the seat-sharing pact between the grand old party and his 20-year-old organisation has been finalised. As per the arrangement, 38 seats will be left for allies to contest, he tweeted. Maharashtra Assembly has 288 seats.
NCP will give chance to “new faces” in the polls, Pawar said. Some seats will be exchanged with the Congress, he added.
In 2014, the two parties had contested the state elections separately. NCP had then ended the 15-year alliance after the two parties had been unable to reach a seat-sharing arrangement ahead of Assembly elections.
Congress had won 42 seats while the NCP had won 41 seats in 2014 polls. The BJP had emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 122 seats. The finalisation of the seat-sharing pact between the Congress and NCP comes after many high-profile exits from both the parties, more so from the Pawar-led outfit.
Many of those who left have joined the BJP and a few have sought shelter with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena.
Those quitting NCP to join BJP are cowards: Pawar
Pawar has termed those who left his party to join the ruling BJP as cowards, and said people will show the deserters their place in the elections. In a setback for the NCP, several senior party leaders recently joined the BJP and the Shiv Sena. “They are cowards… People of Maharashtra will take care of such people in the elections,” Pawar said a day after senior leader Udayanraje Bhosale quit the NCP and his Lok Sabha membership from Satara and joined the BJP.