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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

‘Didn’t discuss Shiv Sena’: Sharad Pawar after talks with Sonia Gandhi

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.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2019 19:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sharad 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.
Sharad 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.(VIPIN KUMAR/HT PHOTO.)
         

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said that he had briefed Congress president Sonia Gandhi about the political situation in Maharashtra but did not discuss any possible alliance with the Shiv Sena.

The NCP leader met Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence in the national capital.

“We discussed in detail about Maharashtra’s political situation. I briefed her on it. AK Antony was also there. Certain leaders of both {Congress-NCP} parties will meet and discuss further and get back to us,” Pawar told reporters after his meeting with Congress chief.

On being asked if Sonia Gandhi was opposed to the idea of forming a government with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Pawar said, “There was no talk of government formation in our meeting; this meeting was all about discussing Congress and NCP.”

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.

Watch l ‘Government formation process underway, will last 5 years’: Sharad Pawar 

“We have to sort out a few more things. We want to talk to all parties who supported us. We did not talk about the Shiv Sena,” the NCP chief told reporters.

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.

“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 had said earlier.

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.