While the NCP is still awaiting to here from Congress on their alliance, a day long meeting was held at the NCP state office. A closed door meeting, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar met his party members to discuss the party’s stance in the upcoming elections. With less than three weeks left for nominations for state assembly polls in the state, the opposition parties have begun searching their contestants, but the future of the ruling partners- Congress-NCP is yet to be decided. The ruling party congress is yet to disclose its cards about its strategy and alliance with NCP. In the meantime, NCP is holding meets to decide its stance, if it does go for polls alone. A day long meeting was held in the city by NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar with his partymen Chaggan Bhujbal, R R Patil, Govinrao Adik and other senior NCP leaders. While the meet was a closed door one, the party leaders seemed hopeful with Congress for alliance or so it seemed when they spoke with the media. For now the Congress and the NCP are engaged in a bitter battle over Mumbai and Thane, making it difficult for the central leadership to seal the pre-poll alliance. There are 36 assembly seats in Mumbai, and Thane has 24. The Congress is not willing to concede more than eight Mumbai seats to its partner. The NCP wants to hold sway in Thane, but the Congress is demanding 50% of the seats. To keep the NCP on backfoot, the Congress has won over the support of Palghar MP Balasaheb Jadhav (Independent). It now wants one seat each in Palghar, Vasai, Bhoisar and Nallasopara. The party has also staked claims in Mumbra (two seats), Kalyan (2), Navi Mumbai (1) and Bhiwandi (2). The dispute over seats is not restricted to Mumbai and Thane alone. The NCP has refused to read much into its partner’s gains in western Maharashtra as well. With cameraperson Ranjit Gupta, Dhiraj Mishra for NMTV News.
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