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Congress, NCP finalise seat sharing; to contest 26, 22 seats respectively

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Months ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress talks on Monday to discuss the seat sharing strategy ends.

NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel and Congress leaders AK Antony and Ahmed Patel are expected to hold the talks.

Both the parties are reportedly divided over seat sharing with a faction in Congress keen to contest 29 out of total of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, whereas NCP is firm on the 2009 formula of 26:22 in which Congress had contested 26 seats and NCP 22 in 2009 polls.

The meeting comes a day after media reports stated that Pawar met Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

However, Pawar slammed the reports as “baseless” and said that as a Union Agriculture Minister, he keeps meeting chief ministers of different states and there is nothing wrong in it.

“As the Union Agriculture Minister, I have the responsibility of increasing the country’s food production and the implementation of the Food Security Act and for that purpose, I have to visit various states. I visit West Bengal and meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Similarly, I meet Naveen Patnaik in Odisha; Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh and Narendra Modi when I go to Ahmedabad,” the NCP chief said.

Pawar reportedly took to Twitter to clear his stand and wrote, “News of my meeting with Narendra Modi in New Delhi on January 17 appeared in a newspaper. (It) is completely mischievous, baseless & false.”

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