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Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Monday said his party NCP is of the view that there should be no division of votes among like-minded parties to take on the BJP in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. The NCP is also in talks with the Congress over the forthcoming Goa Assembly polls and pitching for unity among the anti-BJP parties, but “there has been no response yet”, Malik told reporters.

The Assembly polls in UP and Goa, both currently ruled by the BJP, are due early next year. We should support the party which is contesting the election with all its might in Uttar Pradesh. It is our view that there should be no division of votes (among non-BJP parties) in Uttar Pradesh, said Malik, who is the NCP’s national spokesperson. The NCP is discussing the same with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (key opposition party in Uttar Pradesh), said the minister, whose party shares power with the Shiv Sena and Congress in Maharashtra.

In the case of Goa, Malik said senior NCP leader Praful Patel has held discussion with Congress’ in-charge for the neighbouring state, Dinesh Gundu Rao, over unity among like-minded parties as they face polls there, but there has been no response yet.

Definitely, we are for the unity of all (non-BJP) parties. It can happen if the Congress takes an initiative. The Congress is a big party there. It is the responsibility of the Congress to take all togetherOur position will be decided once the Congress takes its decision, Malik said. In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats in the 40-member House, but failed to form government.

The BJP, which had won 13 seats, forged an alliance with some regional outfits and independents to form government in the coastal state.

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