Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi to discuss government formation in Maharashtra – india news


Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday to work out the contours of its possible alliance with the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra. The meeting took place at Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence in the capital.

Pawar, who is playing a lead role in the negotiations, had last week suggested that the alliance government would be in place soon and contrary to predictions from the BJP camp, asserted that it would complete its five year term.

Pawar’s strategy meeting with the Congress chief comes against the backdrop of reports that Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had cancelled his recently-announced visit to Ayodhya, ostensibly on security grounds. The change in Uddhav Thackeray’s schedule comes after Congress and NCP leaders conveyed their discomfort at the visit that would have underlined the Sena’s Hindutva policy.

The NCP has been conducting negotiations with ally Congress for a possible alliance with the Shiv Sena after the latter’s alliance with the BJP did not work out over which party would bag the Maharashtra chief minister’s post.

Ahead of his meeting with Gandhi, Pawar said all political parties seeking to stake claim in forming the government in Maharashtra have to “choose their own paths”.

“The BJP-Shiv Sena fought together, we (NCP) and Congress fought together. They have to choose their path and we will do our politics,” Pawar said.

Maharashtra was placed under President’s rule on November 12 after no party or alliance staked claim to form the government.

The NCP supremo’s meeting with the Congress chief comes a day after the NCP’s core committee held a meeting in Pune and decided that the current President’s rule in Maharashtra should end and an “alternative government” should be formed.

The BJP and Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena alliance had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and NCP, who are pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively.


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