The demand was made here at a preparatory meeting of Congress called to discuss poll strategy for Vidarbha, considered a BJP stronghold, party sources said.

MPCC president Manikrao Thakre assured Vidarbha Congressmen that their demand would be taken up at the meeting with NCP leaders.
Of the 11 districts of Vidarbha, the Sharad Pawar-led party has alliance with BJP in five Zilla Parishads - Nagpur, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Amravati and Yavatmal. NCP has a tie- up with Congress in the State and Central level since 1999.

"These are the Zilla Parishads where Congress is the single largest party and we want this (NCP-BJP) alliance to end," the source said.
Vidarbha, in Eastern Maharashtra, has 62 Assembly constituencies. Of these, Congress contested 48 seats last time (one was left for its ally), while NCP fields candidates in 13. Congress won 24, while NCP bagged four seats in 2009.

The meeting, attended by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, AICC general secretary Mohan Prakash and senior leaders from Vidarbha, resolved to work towards winning maximum seats in the cotton belt this time.
It was also decided that Congress would be open to alliance with like-minded parties in the region to improve its electoral prospects.
"We wanted an alliance with Prakash Ambedkar of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (an RPI faction) for the Lok Sabha polls, but it did not materialize," they added.


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