The election commission has sounded the bugle, setting the stage for the assembly elections, but quarreling over seat-sharing between the Congress and the NCP continued. The assembly-wise study in the 2009 parliament elections shows that the gap between the two grand alliances was as narrow as eight assembly seats. The Congress-NCP took the lead in 130 assembly segments, leaving the Shiv Sena-BJP with 122. Not surprisingly, the nervousness in the ruling Democratic Front despite the upbeat mood in the Congress cannot be overlooked. Chief minister Ashok Chavan said that they were upbeat because they had won 17 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 general elections and were confident of performing well in assembly elections as well. The NCP, on the backfoot after the parliament polls, is worried over the anti-incumbency factor in the assembly polls. Political managers in the Congress and the NCP are putting up a brave face, but creating a hat-trick is not going to be a cakewalk. The baggage of scarcity, price rise and anti-incumbency is likely to work against them. What compounds their problems at political level is the mistrust in the partnership. For example, the Congress and the NCP are still at loggerheads over seat-sharing. Top leaders of both the parties admit that unless they join hands in time, they will not be able to return to power in state. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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October 8, 2006