Alliance With Congress Over, Says NCP

prafulMUMBAI: It was a day of parting ways in the two key camps in Maharashtra. Hours after the BJP announced it was splitting from Shiv Sena, the NCP ended its 15-year alliance with the Congress and declared it would “go with like-minded parties”.Withdrawing support from the government, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar blamed Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for the split, saying earlier Congress chief minsters had never neglected the NCP.
Like the BJP and the Shiv Sena, the state’s ruling allies had been locked in a battle over seats in the coming elections in Maharashtra and the alliance was hanging by a thread. The Congress announcement of its first list of 118 candidates last night proved the last straw.
The NCP had been in a huddle all day. Late in the evening, at a media conference to announce the decision, it said the Congress’ last night’s announcement had come as a shock.”We didn’t even know about the first list of the Congress,” said Sunil Tatkare, the state chief of the party. “Yesterday they came out with their list, and they had declared candidates for even those seats that we were discussing with them.”
The rift between the two parties has reportedly grown wider following the NCP’s latest demand for a rotation of the chief minister’s post in case the alliance comes to power. The Congress has called it “unreasonable”. The party was ready to give 124 seats to the NCP.”We rejected the 124 seat offer. We heard from the media but sadly not from the Congress,” said senior NCP leader Praful Patel. “Officially we met for the first time only a few days ago with the Congress. We will go with like-minded parties.”

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