Cong-NCP in stand-off over 2 seats

NCP wants Limbayat in Surat and Bapunagar in Ahmedabad, Cong says no way.

Allies Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have yet to reach a final decision on seat-sharing for the Assembly elections on December 13 and 17.

While NCP climbed down from its earlier demand of 22 seats to 11, Congress is not willing to cede more than nine seats to it.

Congress sources said NCP was insisting on Limbayat seat in Surat and Bapunagar in Ahmedabad.

A senior Congress leader said this was not acceptable at all because party planned to field two senior leaders from the two constituencies, Kadir Pirzada from Limbayat and Himmatsinh Patel from Bapunagar.

The seats that Congress has agreed to give to NCP are Umreth in Anand district, Gondal in Rajkot district, Devgadh Baria in Dahod district, Shera in Panchmahals district, Khambalia in Jamnagar district, Karanj in Surat district and Kutiyana in Porbandar district.

State NCP general secretary Jagdishchandra Dafda said talks were still going on with Congress leaders and hoped some solution could be found.

In 2007 Assembly elections, NCP fought on seven seats as part of seat-sharing arrangement with Congress and won three. However, one of its MLAs, Tusharsinh Raulji from Devgadh Baria, joined BJP recently.

The NCP had picked popular Gujarati film actor and president of Surat city and district NCP unit, Jamil Khan alias Rajdeep, for the Limbayat seat.

Khan alias Rajdeep, who has played memorable roles in around 50 Gujarati films and in many Gujarati teleserials, quit acting a few years ago and joined NCP.

He had contested as an NCP candidate from Limbayat ward in 2010 Surat Municipal Corporation elections but lost narrowly to the Congress candidate.

"Congress had told us to forget Limbayat seat and choose some other seat. But I have contested municipal polls from Limbayat and we have well-developed cadre in the area. I will fight from this seat at any cost," Khan told The Indian Express.

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