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Parties mixed-up over seat-sharing Maharastra


Deborah Grey,CNN-IBN
Sep 21, 2009 at 11:34pm IST

Mumbai: Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) may be very close to striking an alliance deal for the Maharashtra Assembly elections, but the ground reality in Maharashtra is that most political party activists are confused about the seat sharing.

The process of deciding the candidates for the state’s Assembly elections has left most parties struggling to keep their stock together as confusion over who will contest which seat still prevails.

However, Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan tried to underplay the issue.

Chavan said, "Ninety five per cent of seat sharing discussions are over. We just have to decide about just two or three seats."

The suspense leading to confusion over how many and which seats Congress and NCP will fight in Maharashtra is not unique to this alliance.

It exists in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance too. Every party wants to make sure that they have the right combination of fresh and experienced faces.

One party though has nothing to lose and that’s Raj Thackeray's MNS as this is the party's first Assembly election.

Raj Thackeray said, "Outgoing is free. There is not much scope for rebellion in my party."

Sources say one reason for the deliberate delay in announcement of names is the strategy by political parties to avoid rebellion.

As the last date for filing nominations approaches, leaders don't want to give any time to the rebels to file their candidature. But the flip side is the officially nominated candidates will also have lesser time to campaign.

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