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Congress, NCP Agree 'They Should be in Alliance', National Leadership to Put its Stamp Soon

There have been speculations in Maharashtra politics for a while now about the Congress and the NCP joining hands for a pre-poll alliance.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:February 6, 2018, 7:35 PM IST
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Congress, NCP Agree 'They Should be in Alliance', National Leadership to Put its Stamp Soon
Party symbols of NCP (left) and Congress.
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New Delhi: Senior leaders of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) held preliminary talks on Tuesday to chalk out a strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and the verdict from both the camps is that all is well between the two parties.

Emerging from the meeting, senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said,"All is well between the Congress and the NCP. The national leadership will take the final call on alliance for Assembly and national elections."

The NCP too seems to be in agreement.

Speaking on behalf of NCP, its MLA Jitendra Awhad said," In principle, there is approval from both the parties and we should be together in alliance. The final call will be taken after a national level meeting between Sharad Pawar, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

There have been speculations in Maharashtra politics for a while now about the Congress and the NCP joining hands for a pre-poll alliance.

While many senior leaders News18 spoke to earlier said that they were open to a tie-up considering they are “natural allies”, they remained non-committal about whether the alliance will indeed be forged.

"It is too early to talk of the alliance now. Today, our primary focus is going to be on deciding candidates for the by-elections of Legislative Council," Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil told News18.

Over a fortnight ago, Sharad Pawar had taken lead in uniting the opposition under the banner of 'Sanvidhan Bachao Rally' (Save Constitution rally). Eighteen national and regional parties had gathered in Mumbai to participate in it. The two leaders who stayed out of it were Akhilesh Yadav and Prakash Ambedkar. While Akhilesh Yadav pulled out at the last minute, Prakash Ambedkar made it clear that he will never go with Sharad Pawar, who he considers a hypocrite working against the interests of the Dalits.

The political situation in Maharashtra is heating up. With the Congress and the NCP likely to forge an alliance, MNS chief Raj Thackeray is also keeping his options open. On Monday supporters of tainted NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal met Raj Thackeray. He said that there was a need to rally for the cause of release of Bhujbal, who has been in prison for nearly two years now. He was arrested on money laundering charges by the Enforcement Directorate in March 2016.

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