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Maharashtra situation: Sonia holds talks with CM, senior leaders

Maharashtra situation: Sonia holds talks with CM, senior leaders

The meeting also comes at a time when the NCP is putting pressure on the Congress to give it more seats in the Assembly polls.

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New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday held consultations with senior leaders from Maharashtra including Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in the wake of party leader Narayan Rane announcing his decision to quit Chavan Cabinet pitching for a change of leadership there.

Former Home Minister and senior leader from Maharashtra Sushil Kumar Shinde and PCC Chief Manikrao Thakre were also present at the meeting. Earlier, Nanded MP and former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan met Shinde separately.

The meeting also comes at a time when the NCP is putting pressure on the Congress to give it more seats in the Assembly polls, which are due this year in Maharashtra where the Congress and Sharad Pawar's party are in alliance for 15 years.

The NCP has been demanding a larger share of seats this time on the ground that it had fared better than the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress-NCP alliance ruling the state since 1999 was decimated in the Lok Sabha polls with the NCP securing four seats and the Congress only two.

In 2009 Assembly polls, the NCP had fielded its candidates in 114 constituencies against Congress' 174. This time NCP wants the seat sharing formula to be at least 50:50, which means both parties should contest 144 seats each.

Rane, who had announced his decison to resign from the Maharashtra Cabinet, is scheduled to meet the Chief Minister at 10 am on Monday in Mumbai.

Addressing a meeteing in Kankavali in the state on Sunday, Rane trained his guns on the Chief Minister and said that Assembly elections results would not be different from the Lok Sabha polls if they were fought under the present leadership.

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