Maharashtra polls: Pawar, Sonia hold seat-sharing talks

Maharashtra polls: Pawar, Sonia hold seat-sharing talks

NCP leader Sharad Pawar (PTI Photo)

NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress President Sonia Gandhi met on Tuesday to discuss the seat-sharing arrangement and the joint campaign for the Maharashtra assembly elections likely to be held next month.

Pawar drove down to Gandhi's 10, Janpath residence around noon and the two leaders discussed matters related to the upcoming assembly elections for nearly 45 minutes.

Congress and NCP have already decided to contest the assembly elections as a coalition and the Pawar-Sonia meeting came a day before Congress leaders' meeting decide on its candidates for the upcoming polls.

Besides, Pawar is also keen to rope in MNS chief Raj Thackeray into the alliance, but the Congress is learnt to have expressed its reservations on the issue.

Congress and NCP has witnessed desertions by senior leaders to the BJP and the Shiv Sena, which has severely dented the opposition alliance's morale ahead of the elections.

The Congress-NCP alliance will also incorporate smaller parties such as Peasants and Workers Party, Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana, and a clutch of smaller outfits.

The alliance was expected to leave 38 seats for the smaller parties and reach a seat-sharing arrangement on the rest 250 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.