On Cong-NCP split The Lok Sabha election results were right before us. I had said this election was not going to be easy and we will need to face it together. I had a meeting with Sonia Gandhi two months ago, and she, too, appeared inclined towards a coalition Praful Patel and I, and A K Antony and Ahmed Patel from the Congress had two or three meetings. We asked for 144 seats. Of course, this number was not final.
There is always some argument over seat-sharing in a coalition Since the beginning, we did not get the response we expected. There was no correspondence even as the deadline for filing nominations drew close. When Praful Patel contacted them, Prithviraj Chavan communicated he would meet us the next morning. The NCP presented its proposal in the meeting, but there was no reaction. Chavan left for Karad the next day. The same night, we got to know that the Congress had declared its first list of candidates. It included two candidates for constituencies claimed by the NCP. That is when we felt the Congress had something in mind Saturday was the last day for filing nominations. We began our preparations on Thursday. At this point, the BJPs announcement of the split with Shiv Sena came like a bomb blast There was a possibility of our party members being enticed with candidature by the BJP or the Sena. We had to declare our decision to contest on our own in a hurry Sonia Gandhi was inclined, but the coalition broke due to the new leadership.
On Prithviraj Chavans chances Prithviraj Chavan is a good person. It will not be difficult for him to get elected from Karad, which has been represented by Yashwantrao Chavan, Anandrao Chavan and Premalakaki Chavan. He might have lost in 1999, but he will win the Vidhan Sabha election, because it is a different feeling for the people to have a CM from your own town. This will work in his favour. On Congress old and new Some friends in the Congress keep advising us to merge with the Congress. We never take this advice seriously, because it will never happenThe leadership of the Gandhi family acts as a source of energy for the Congress. The Congress came to power twice under Sonia Gandhis leadership. Even though questions are being raised regarding the leadership of the family, I dont see the situation changing. Sonia Gandhi had come to my Delhi residence with a proposal for a coalition in 2004, even when relations