Though seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the NCP are yet to begin, the NCP has already invited applications from aspirants for all the 288 seats in the state. The party recently conducted interviews for the eight assembly seats in Pune, in whcih 41 aspirants took part. The party has received 320 applications for the 21 seats in Pune district. The interviews for the remaining 13 seats in the district will be completed soon. Aspirants from Pune are mainly sitting corporators, mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale being one. NCP leader and Pune district guardian Ajit Pawar denied that the interviews were a ploy to pressurise Congress. Though both the Congress and NCP are looking to go solo in the assembly polls, their showing in the Lok Sabha polls in Pune district was dismal. The Congress-NCP combine led in more than half of the 18 assembly segments in the district in the 2004 polls, while in 2009, it managed leads in just nine of the 21 segments.
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