Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Oct 17, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
National
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

National Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Congress wants to rework 1999 formula?

By K.V. Prasad

NEW DELHI, OCT.16. The "Maharashtra formula'' that the Congress vehemently insisted as the benchmark in forming the coalition Government in Karnataka four months ago could be reworked by the party — to its favour — in deciding which party should head the new Government in Mumbai.

Aware that the formula could well turn out to be the "albatross'' around its neck, the Congress has started to suggest that despite being two short of the 71 seats bagged by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Congress was the single largest `pre-poll group' this time.

Top party sources tonight said that under the pre-poll seat sharing pact the NCP was allotted certain seats out of which it accommodated the Republican Party of India (Athawale). This group now has 72 seats as against the Congress, which has a greater share. The argument is that the Congress with 69 seats should add the three seats won by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) since the Left parties were allocated seats out of its quota.

In addition, the Congress is claiming that an Independent in Pune was supported by the party. With this, the Congress overtakes the NCP plus tally.

This argument comes even as a section of party leaders appeared reconciled that the Congress may have to follow the thumb rule framed by it earlier that the single largest party would head the coalition.

The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, remained non-committal on whether the party would accept the 1999 Maharashtra formula. Speaking to correspondents this evening, Ms. Gandhi said the matter would be decided after discussions with senior leaders in the party and also the coalition partners.

Asked whether the Congress would prefer the Jammu and Kashmir formula, in which the party let the J & K People's Democratic Party take the first turn despite winning fewer seats, Ms. Gandhi said: "Jammu and Kashmir was a special case.''

Just four months ago, the Congress had its way in Karnataka where it decided to head the coalition Government that includes the Janata Dal (Secular).

With the NCP Chief, Sharad Pawar, already having made the party approach public, one prime factor would be the outcome of talks between Mr. Pawar and Ms. Gandhi. There is an opinion in the Congress camp that if Mr. Pawar expresses the desire to be at the helm of affairs in Maharashtra, the Congress would find it difficult to turn it down.

On the other hand, the tussle for the top political post became evident in the State Congress even before the last vote was punched in with at least three to four names doing the rounds including the incumbent Chief Minister and his immediate predecessor, Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Ms. Gandhi sidestepped questions whether the Congress would consider rewarding Mr. Shinde with a second innings after the turnaround in electoral fortunes.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

National

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu