Cong, NCP to talk al­liance to take on BJP in Ma­ha­rash­tra

DNA (Delhi) - - SECOND FRONT PAGE - San­jay Jog san­jay.jog@dnain­

Mum­bai: Af­ter tast­ing hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat in the 2014 Assem­bly elec­tions, which they had fought solo, the Congress and the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) are now mak­ing ef­forts to forge an al­liance, not only be­tween them but by bring­ing to­gether all like-minded par­ties, to jointly take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Ma­ha­rash­tra.

The drub­bing in suc­ces­sive lo­cal body elec­tions are said to have driven the two par­ties into think­ing that to­gether they will be able to mo­bilise vot­ers against the BJP on a num­ber of is­sues, in­clud­ing farmer sui­cides, job cuts and fall in eco­nomic growth af­ter de­mon­eti­sa­tion and the roll­out of Goods and Ser­vices Tax, be­sides cor­rup­tion cases in­volv­ing sev­eral BJP min­is­ters.

Both par­ties are ex­pected to soon launch for­mal talks on al­liance for­ma­tion ahead of the assem­bly polls slated for 2019.

The in­di­ca­tion of a Congress-NCP al­liance comes at a time when re­la­tion­ship be­tween the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena is turn­ing sour.

Early this week, NCP chief and former union min­is­ter Sharad Pawar said his party was open to form­ing an al­liance with the Congress, es­pe­cially when there is grow­ing dis­con­tent against the BJP-led gov­ern­ment in the state and at the Cen­tre.

NCP pres­i­dent Sharad Pawar

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