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NCP seat call

Mumbai, July 4: NCP leader Ajit Pawar today asked party workers to be prepared to contest all 288 Assembly seats “if we do not get 144 seats from the Congress”, setting the tone for intense bargaining in the seat-sharing talks scheduled to begin later this month.

Pawar’s remarks came at a party convention in Pune a day after newly appointed state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare had formally voiced the demand for an equal division of seats between the allies at a news conference in Mumbai. Tatkare also said the party that wins more seats should get the chief minister’s post.

In the 2009 polls, the Congress contested 174 seats and won 82 while the NCP contested 114 and won 62.