Congress-NCP tie-up in three seats

The Congress Friday said it has entered into an alliance with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP on three seats in Gujarat for the Assembly polls. However, without naming Kutiyana MLA Kandhal Jadeja—the lone NCP legislator—Congress said it would not support any other candidate from the party.

“NCP will fight three seats, including Umreth, Naroda and Devgadh Baria. We have a tie-up for these three seats,” said Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Jagdish Thakor at the party headquarters in Ahmedabad.

However, Gujarat NCP chief Jayant Bosky, who accompanied Thakor, reminded that the party had partnered with the Congress in the UPA governments and had jointly formed a government in Maharashtra. When asked if NCP would fight in Kutiyana where the Congress has already declared a candidate, Bosky said, “We will put up a candidate if there is any green signal from them (Congress). Our candidate from Kutiyana is strong and has been winning since the past two terms.”

In response, Thakor stressed that the tie-up is only restricted for three seats. “NCP might be facing a demand to put up candidates from other seats. But as per our discussions, I want to make it clear that this arrangement is restricted to the three seats. If any NCP candidate fights as an independent, we will not give our mandate. Jayantbhai has already said the NCP would not give mandate to any of their candidates who file the nomination.”

When asked what punitive steps will be taken against NCP candidates who fail to follow the party diktat, Bosky said such candidates will be expelled from the party for six years.

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