NCP says no tie-up with Congress in Gujarat

Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will not have any seat sharing with the Congress for Lok Sabha elections in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Gujarat.

By Mahesh Trivedi

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Published: Sun 16 Mar 2014, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:38 AM

Gujarat NCP chief Jayant Patel told journalists that his party would field candidates for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats from the state as the Congress has not agreed to have an alliance with it.

“We asked for the Porbander seat but the Congress has rejected the idea”, he said, and accused state Congress leaders of being hand-in-glove with the BJP. The NCP wants to field its MLA Kandhal Jadeja in Porbandar and hopes the Congress to support him.

Patel told Khaleej Times that he himself would contest from Anand in central Gujarat where the Congress had been emerging victorious because of the NCP support, adding that names of the remaining 25 candidates would be announced soon.

Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia, however said that any decision on seat-sharing with the NCP would be taken as per the A K Antony committee report. The NCP has been a partner of the Congress in UPA-1 and UPA-2.

Both the major parties, the BJP and the Congress, have been dominating the Lok Sabha polls in the state in the past two elections. While in 2004, the BJP won 14 seats and the Congress 12, in 2009, the BJP increased its tally to 15 as against Congress’s 11.

The saffron party had won its highest number of seats in the state under former chief minister Keshubhai Patel in 1999, when it won 20 seats, reducing the Congress tally to six.

Modi has not been able to repeat the feat despite his claims of development and good governance. This time, however, the BJP’s PM nominee expects to better Patel’s record.

An NDTV-Hansa Research survey said last week the BJP could win 23 of Gujarat’s 26 seats.

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