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Congress, NCP Likely to Tie Up for Maharashtra Legislative Council Polls

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MUMBAI: The Congress and the NCP are likely to formalise their pre-poll alliance next week for the upcoming elections to the eight seats of the Legislative Council from the self-government bodies in Maharashtra.

The polling for these elections will take place on December 27.

A Maharashtra Congress office-bearer said his party is open to the alliance but will discuss with the central leadership on the issue of seat sharing.

The term of following Legislative Council members ends on January 1, 2016 – Amrish Patel (Dhule-Nandurbar), Mahadev Mahadik (Kolhapur), Rajendra Mulak (Nagpur) and Bhai Jagtap (Mumbai) – all from the Congress.

Two Shiv Sena members – state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam (Mumbai) and Gopikishan Bajoria (Akola Washim Buldhana) will also retire on the same day.

NCP’s Deepak Salunke (Solapur) and NCP-backed Independent Arun Jagtap (Ahmednagar) also retire on January 1.

NCP wants Akola Washim Buldhana local bodies seat while Congress feels it has a good chance of wresting the seat from Shiv Sena.

The Congress unit in Solapur is against any alliance with the NCP and wants to contest the seat, the Congress office-bearer said.

“NCP wants Ahmednagar, Solapur and Akola-Washim Buldhana. But, Congress is ready to part with Ahmednagar and either Solapur or Akola-Washim-Buldhana. The meeting of leaders of both parties is likely to take place soon,” he added.

NCP had said it would retain Solapur and Ahmednagar and sought Akola-Washim Buldhana since it had lost the seat narrowly last time.

As per the election programme announced, the notification for the polls will be issued on December 2.

The last date of filing of nomination is December 9.

Scrutiny will take place on December 10 and last date of withdrawal is December 12.

Polling will take place on December 27 and counting of votes will be taken up on December 30.

PTI