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NCP, JD-U Announce Alliance For Gujarat Assembly Elections

Even as the possibility of the Gujarat assembly elections being advanced are gaining momentum, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Janta Dal United (JDU) have announced the formation of an alliance to contest the forthcoming Gujarat assembly elections.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:April 7, 2017, 4:54 PM IST
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NCP, JD-U Announce Alliance For Gujarat Assembly Elections
NCP leader Prafful Patel (centre), who is also in charge of its Gujarat affairs, made it clear that his party will negotiate a possible alliance and seat sharing arrangement if it is treated as an equal. (File photo)
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Ahmedabad: Even as the possibility of the Gujarat assembly elections being advanced are gaining momentum, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Janta Dal United (JD-U) have announced the formation of an alliance to contest the forthcoming Gujarat assembly elections. More importantly, leaders of the two parties have made it clear that the Congress is welcome to join the alliance but it has to treat other parties of the alliance as equals.

NCP leader Prafful Patel, who is also in charge of its Gujarat affairs, made it clear that his party will negotiate a possible alliance and seat sharing arrangement if it is treated as an equal. "We are a national party and JD-U too is. We would not like to be treated like younger brother in a seat sharing scenario. The Congress will have to display more flexibility than ours if a lasting arrangement has to be worked out. He added that the past experience of an alliance with the Congress in Gujarat has been bad and this will not be allowed to repeat again. In the 2012 assembly election, the seat sharing went for a toss as Congress nominated candidates at all the nine seats that it had allotted to the NCP.

K C Tyagi added in – "In the Bihar Assembly elections, the Congress had just five seats but we (JD-U) gave them 40 seats to contest. Now they have 28 MLAs. The Congress will have to show the same large-heartedness here in Gujarat if a lasting and meaningful alliance has to be formed. The bigger party should always be more accommodative and should display far more maturity."

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Although the Congress might not agree with what NCP and JDU leaders are categorically stating, they cannot ignore the fact that despite their best efforts, the BJP has been in power in Gujarat for the past 22 years. Both Prafful Patel and K C Tyagi, while emphasising on the need of forming a grand alliance of parties opposed to the BJP, said that any one party on its own cannot defeat the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections. "We need a broad based front of like-minded parties to put their might together. Individually, no party is in a position to defeat the BJP," Tyagi told reporters in Ahmedabad on Friday.

But Prafful Patel quite clearly added that the broad based front against the BJP will not include the AAP and the Shiv Sena. "There is no question of AAP joining the alliance and the Shiv Sena has a near zero presence in the state," he said.

While the NCP has a presence in a few pockets of central Gujarat and Saurashtra, the JDU has won seats in the tribal belt of central Gujarat.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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