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Thursday 20 February 2020

Cong, NCP leaders to explore revival of alliance in Maha

Mumbai: Congress and NCP leaders in Maharashtra will hold preliminary talks next week to explore the possibility of an alliance ahead of the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha polls, a senior Nationalist Congress Party leader said today.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday.

The state leaders of the two parties will also plan the strategy of the opposition parties for the Budget Session of the Maharashtra legislature, which starts on February 26, the NCP leader, who did not wish to be named, said.

The meeting assumes significance after two meetings were held in Delhi. The meetings were chaired by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress and the NCP jointly governed Maharashtra for nearly 15 years. Their alliance broke before the 2014 assembly elections.

This year elections are to be held on 21 Legislative Council seats and six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra. This is likely to figure in the discussion, sources in the Congress said.

Bypolls in Bhandara-Gondia and Palghar Lok Sabha were necessitated due to the resignation of BJP MP Nana Patole and the death of BJP’s Chintaman Wanaga is also likely to figure in the talks.

Eleven members from Legislative Council from the MLA quota retire in July. The Congress has three and the NCP has four members among the 11 retiring MLCs.

In the Legislative Council, in June six members from local bodies, two from graduate constituencies and two from teachers constituencies will also retire.

Of the total 21, the NCP has eight, while the Congress has four.

There will be six Rajya Sabha vacancies in April, where two members each of the Congress and the NCP will retire.

Given the present strength in the Assembly, both parties can get one member elected.

PTI

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