Congress cites difficulties in renewing tie-up with NCP for 2019 polls

There are practical difficulties in renewing the alliance with the NCP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and Assembly polls in Maharashtra, the Congress says but is hopeful that an amicable solution can be worked out. The two opposition parties had an acrimonious break-up ahead of the 2014 state polls.

Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said had the NCP not withdrawn support and called off the tie-up, the alliance together would have got 35 per cent votes. “Contesting separately was a loss to both the parties,” he said.

The former chief minister admitted there were practical difficulties in renewing the alliance. “Yes, difficulties are there. But both parties must remember they were in power for 15 years in the state and can work out an amicable solution,” he said.

A Congress source said there has to be a “win-win situation” for both the parties to forge a tie-up. “It’s too early to come to a final decision. There are practical difficulties. The Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha by-poll will be a precursor to what happens later,” the source said.

Nana Patole, the sitting BJP MP from the Bhandara-Gondia seat, recently quit the party and returned to the Congress, necessitating the by-election. Both the Congress and the NCP are now staking claim to contest the by-poll.

However, the Congress workers and leaders in Gondia are not in favour of an alliance with the NCP. “They (NCP) do...

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