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Pawar Player

March 4, 2009
The poll schedule has been announced, and the country is caught in election fever. Political parties across the country are jostling for alliances and counter-alliances.

Here we give you a lowdown on the possible key players in the coming elections. Beyond doubt, regional parties will have a key role in any government formation at the Centre.

One of the key players is Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar -- the party sees him as the prime minister. Not happy with the Congress, an angry Pawar said he is looking out for possible tie-ups across the country.

Pawar is reportedly in talks with the Shiv Sena. Reports say that he is even holding talks to AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and CPI-M supremo Prakash Karat. Poll pundits say this could be a ploy by the Maratha strongman to bargain seats from the Congress.

Current tally in Maharashtra: NCP: 9; Cong: 13; Shiv Sena: 12
Poll factors: Terror attacks, farmers' misery, Raj Thackeray, possible Sena-NCP deal, factionalism in Congress

Image: Sharad Pawar will flex all the muscles he can.
Photograph : Ranjan Basu/Saab Pictures

Also see: Can come to power without Left: Congress

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