PM reaches out to NCP, speaks to Pawar before UPA dinner | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM reaches out to NCP, speaks to Pawar before UPA dinner

delhi Updated: Jul 23, 2012 15:43 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday spoke to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and reportedly dissuaded him from quitting the Union cabinet, a TV report says.

NCP chief and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is unlikely to attend the farewell dinner for outgoing President Pratibha Patil being hosted by the Prime Minister on Monday evening.

An NCP source said NCP "ministers would not be attending the dinner" at Hyderabad House.

Asked if Pawar would attend, a party insider told IANS: "I don't think so."

It also appeared that Agatha Sangma, minister of state for rural development and daughter of opposition presidential candidate PA Sangma, had offered to quit.

Agatha Sangma had ignored the party directive and campaigned for her father, who lost to UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

A crucial meeting of the NCP is also being held this afternoon in the wake of the stand-off with the Congress that has seen the UPA constituent deciding to pull out of the government.

Party chief Sharad Pawar will hold consultations with senior party colleagues to decide the future course of action.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had sought to persuade Pawar not to press further for the resignation and held his party as a "valued" ally.

AICC has also expressed confidence that the issues would be resolved.

Last week, NCP decided to pull out of the UPA government and support it from outside in protest against the way the party was treated by Congress.

(With inputs from IANS, PTI)