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After meeting Sonia, Pawar says they did not discuss common minimum programme

Sharad Pawar-Sonia Gandhi meet came amid frantic political developments in Maharashtra. Maharashtra still does not have a government still and is under President's Rule.

India TV Politics Desk Written by: India TV Politics Desk New Delhi Updated on: November 18, 2019 19:09 IST
Sharad Pawar Sonia Gandhi meet
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Sharad Pawar met Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi (File Photo)

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Monday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence at 10, Janpath in New Delhi. The meet came amid frantic political developments in Maharashtra over formation of government. Currently, Maharashtra is under President's Rule. In a press conference held after his meet with Sonia Gandhi, Pawar said that there was no talk between him and Sonia Gandhi about the Common Minimum Programme of a possible Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.

Pawar said that he briefed Sonia Gandhi about the political situation in Maharashtra. He added that Congress leader AK Antony was also present in the meeting. Pawar rubbished reports that a co-ordination committee had been formed for government formation in Maharashtra.

Sharad Pawar reached Sonia Gandhi's residence around 5 pm on Monday. 

"Sharad Pawar met the Congress President today and briefed her on the situation in Maharashtra. It was decided that in a day or two, representatives from NCP and Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward," Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted after Sharad Pawar-Sonia Gandhi meet.

PM Modi mentioned the NCP during his speech in Rajya Sabha today. He said that NCP, along with Biju Janta Dal (BJD) have always upheld parliamentary dignity as members of these parties never entered the Well of the House. PM Modi's statement was seen as an outreach to NCP amid turmoil in Maharashtra.

During the press conference, Sharad Pawar was asked about PM Modi's statement. Pawar said that PM Modi's statement was in the context of dignity of the Parliament and appeared to avoid linking it with politics in Maharashtra. He added that he himself never entered the Well of the House.

Situation in Maharashtra

A possible alliance between Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP means that BJP will remain out of power in spite of it bagging 105 out of 288 seats in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. BJP had a hard falling out with its oldest ally Shiv Sena in the aftermath of Maharashtra elections held in the month of October. 

Congress and NCP leaders have held a series of meetings in the last few days to finalise modalities for a Sena-led government in Maharashtra.

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".

"BJP-Shiv Sena fought together, we (NCP) and Congress fought together. They have to choose their path and we will do our politics," Pawar told reporters ahead of the start of the Winter Session of Parliament.

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

Pawar's meeting with the Congress chief comes a day after the NCP's core committee held a meeting in Pune and resolved that the current President's rule in Maharashtra should end and an "alternative government" should be formed.

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

(With PTI inputs)

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