Mumbai: Shortly after BJP called off its 25-year-old alliance with Shiv Sena, ruling party alliance of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra announced their split on Thursday, with NCP leader Praful Patel saying the party will contest the 15 October assembly elections on its own.

Congress, earlier in the day, announced its first list of candidates for the polls. All senior NCP leaders, including party chief Sharad Pawar, Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, state party chief Sunil Tatkare, senior leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Praful Patel met at Ajit Pawar’s official residence—Deogiri—to decide the next move.

Later in a press conference, Patel announced the split.

Meanwhile, a Congress leader said the party had not declared candidates in 114 constituencies which were held by NCP in 2009. “Talks are not possible with NCP with conditions like equal seats and chief minister’s post," the leader said. “There is little time now for talks. We have to start campaigning."

There had been no talks between the leaders of the two parties since their meeting yesterday morning where Congress offered 124 seats to NCP, 10 more than it had contested in the last assembly elections.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had left for Karad on Wednesday where he is expected to file his nomination papers on Friday.

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