NEW DELHI: The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is planning to contest 40-45 seats in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections where the BJP, Congress and the JD(S) are locked in a triangular contest. Pawar has summoned a meeting of party leaders in Mumbai on Saturday to finalise its plans for the assembly elections in Karnataka scheduled for May 10.
“We are meeting in Mumbai tomorrow to finalise our plans for the Karnataka elections,” Pawar said here. The move is also seen as an attempt by the NCP to regain the national party status it had to forego due to its depleted political fortunes in states such as Goa, Meghalaya and Manipur.
The NCP had written to the Election Commission for allocation of the ‘alarm clock’ symbol for the Karnataka Assembly elections, a request that was acceded to by the poll authority. NCP leaders said that the party was planning to put up candidates on at least 40-45 of the total 224 seats, across the state and extend support to the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti in the Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary region which is home to a sizeable Marathi-speaking population.
Pawar’s announcement of plans for Karnataka came a day after his meeting with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi on the need to forge opposition unity to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year. The Congress has pinned its hopes of a big victory in the Karnataka Assembly polls as it yearns for a reversal of its sliding electoral performance since the loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Voting in the state will take place on May 10 and counting is scheduled for May 13.
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