Congress-NCP alliance: The two parties - Congress and NCP - agreed to work together to prevent division in the “secular votes”, according to Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan and his NCP counterpart Sunil Tatkare
Congress-NCP alliance: In a bid to avoid the division of anti-BJP votes, former alliance partners Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have decided to keep aside their differences and join hands in what is being seen as preparing a pitch for the 2019 elections. As per media reports, at a joint meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday (February 6), the state-level leaders from the two parties agreed to work together to prevent division in the “secular votes”, according to Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan and his NCP counterpart Sunil Tatkare. However, they also clarified that the final decision for pre-poll alliance has to be taken by the leadership of both the parties. The meeting was held at the official residence of Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, leader of opposition in the legislative assembly.
As per media reports, Chavan maintained that a decision on an electoral alliance will be taken by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. While NCP’s state chief Sunil Tatkare said that a meeting of all group leaders of opposition parties will be held on Thursday. Chavan has recently expressed his views openly by saying they are open to forge an alliance with the old ally. NCP chief Sharad Pawar too is also keen on forging pre-poll alliance with Congress in the state. Pawar has indicated the same recently by saying they would join hands with like-minded parties.
The Congress and the NCP parted ways in 2014, prior to the Assembly polls, after a seat-sharing agreement could not be reached. The Congress-NCP bonhomie is significant in the wake of the Shiv Sena’s announcement last month that it would contest the next round of general and assembly elections on its own.
There have been speculations in Maharashtra politics for a while now about the Congress and the NCP joining hands for a pre-poll alliance. As per media reports, it was in the winter session of the legislature in 2017, where MLAs of both the parties called for an alliance for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.