Congress, NCP leaders decide to not divide anti-BJP votes in Maharashtra

Congress to ally with like-minded parties to take on BJP says Ashok Chavan in Mumbai

The Congress leader said both the parties have chose to fight against the government together on issues like "deteriorating condition of farmers in the state, issues being faced by middle class and rising dictatorship like attitude of the BJP-led government". "We discussed the need for forging an alliance and decided that the national leadership of both the parties would take the final call on alliance for Assembly and Parliamentary elections", state Congress chief Ashok Chavan said as he emerged from the meeting held at the official residence of leader of opposition in the state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.

In order to make 2019 assembly polls hard for the BJP, both parties' leaders discussed about bringing all the opposition parties on one platform. Following the drubbing both the parties received, talks of alliance had begun. They are of the view that the move will help them avoid division of anti-BJP votes as a result of which their chances of coming back to power will become brighter, sources said. "There is no bitterness left between us". We have made a decision to work together and avoid division of secular votes.

Mr. Chavan said a decision on an electoral alliance will be taken by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Tatkare, former ministers Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil and leader of opposition in the council Dhananjay Munde represented the NCP. "We will have to work out a compromise formula and fight the polls together", he said. "The national leadership will take the final call on the alliance for Assembly and national elections". The announcement came after leaders of both parties held a meeting to discuss the Opposition strategy to corner the government in the Budget session of the legislature from February 26.

In 2014, for the first time in 15 years, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party had fought alone in both Parliament and state elections.

"All is well between the Congress and the NCP". But after the polls, the two parties joined hands to form the government in the state.



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