Sharad Pawar’s party and the Congress had contested the 2014 assembly election separately (File)
The Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress will contest on 125 seats each in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly election, NCP chief Sharad Pawar tweeted on Monday. Other allies of the parties will get the remaining 38 seats. The NCP will try out “new faces”, he said, after many senior leaders of his party joined the BJP and Shiv Sena recently.
Sharad Pawar’s party and the Congress had contested the 2014 assembly election in Maharashtra separately, ending their 15-year alliance over disagreement on seat-sharing. The two parties had won 41 and 42 seats. The BJP, which had emerged as the single-largest party with 122 seats, entered a post-poll alliance with Shiv Sena and formed a government.
“Some seats will be exchanged with the Congress,” Mr Pawar added.
Since the BJP and Shiv Sena’s stellar performance in the national election, several important leaders of the NCP-Congress alliance have quit the parties.
Last week, Bhaskar Jadhav, a former Maharashtra president of the Sharad Pawar-led party, resigned as an MLA. He later joined the Shiv Sena. This was days after the party’s senior leader in Navi Mumbai, Ganesh Naik, joined the BJP.
Earlier this year, Madhukar Pichad– another senior NCP leader– had quit the party and joined the BJP along with his son.
Last month, former Maharashtra Minister Padmasinh Patil, who is also Mr Pawar’s relative, joined the BJP.
Reacting to senior leaders joining the ruling parties, Mr Pawar last month said: “For 10-15 years, their development took place in this party (NCP) only. They perhaps now want more development and the BJP and Shiv Sena may have shown them some path to attain it.”
Mr Pawar’s ally, the Congress, is also facing an exodus. Last week, three of its senior leaders, including Kripashankar Singh and Harshvardhan Patil, had quit. Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar also resigned, blaming internal politics in the Mumbai unit.
The Maharashtra Assembly election will likely take place next month.
With inputs from PTI
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