PM, Sonia, other Cong leaders mull ways to end standoff with NCP
As Sharad Pawar's NCP flagged its unhappiness, Congress top brass, including party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, today held discussions on how to resolve the standoff with the key UPA ally.delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2012 20:43 IST
As Sharad Pawar's NCP flagged its unhappiness, Congress top brass, including party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Friday held discussions on how to resolve the standoff with the key UPA ally.
After a threadbare discussion on the issue in Congress Core Group, highly-placed sources said the matter has been settled and it has more to do with coordination between allies than with any demand for number two position in the Cabinet.
The sources also said the issue of larger role for Rahul Gandhi did not come up at the meeting, though it might have been discussed elsewhere.
Minutes before the meeting, speaking separately at the party headquarters, AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said if such things happen in an alliance government, a solution is found out through the talks.
"In our eyes Sharad Pawar is a senior and respectable leader. He is looked upon with reverence in UPA as such....In alliance government, different allies can look at an issue differently," Dwivedi said downplaying the stand off.
On whether the NCP chief was mulling the option of pulling out of the government, Dwivedi said, "There is no such serious problem. A solution will be found."
Pawar, a former chief minister and one of the senior members of the cabinet, is believed to be hurt over the lack of consultations by Congress with allies and its reluctance to include the party in crucial cabinet panels like Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
NCP leader Praful Patel, however, rejected as "absurd" suggestions that Pawar was upset over denial of Number 2 slot in the cabinet saying that the party has raised "completely different" issues with the Prime Minister in a communication and with Sonia Gandhi and what ultimately the party decides will be communicated after its meeting on Monday.
A senior NCP leader, who did not want to be identified, said Pawar's communication to the Prime Minister on Thursday night was a "cumulative buildup" on administrative and political issues as Congress has "not been inclusive" with its allies.