Putting a question mark on a Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP government formation in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Monday (18 November) remained non-committal after his talks with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, saying they did not discuss about supporting any party.
NCP chief Pawar, who flew down from Mumbai to ostensibly discuss the Common Minimum Programme of a Sena-Congress-NCP government, on Monday evening appeared reluctant, saying repeatedly that they did not discuss government formation.
"I had a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, and A K Antony was present. I briefed her about the political situation of the state (Maharashtra)," said Pawar.
He said the NCP and Congress leaders will meet again to discuss the issues and then report to Sonia Gandhi.
Pawar also ruled out any tie-up with the BJP and said that during the meeting supporting the Shiv Sena was not discussed.
According to sources, the small alliance partner are unhappy, such as Raju Shetti's Swabhimani Paksha, the Peasants and Workers Party of India, and the Samajwadi Party, before moving forward.
"We will take the view of the parties before taking any decision," he said.
He said that leaders of the NCP and Congress will take a view on the political status.
"Those who are with us should be taken into confidence... We have not talked about any support to any party yet," the NCP strongman said.
Pawar had set off alarm bells on the prospects of the three-party alliance for Maharastra ever taking off when he said in the morning that the BJP and Shiv Sena had fought together and they have to "choose their paths".
Speaking to media outside Parliament, Pawar said, "BJP-Shiv Sena fought together, we (NCP and Congress) fought together in the elections. They have to choose their path and we will do our politics."
However, two days ago in Mumbai, Pawar had stated firmly that the process to form government had started and it would be a stable government that would last its full five-year term.
BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi too set tongues wagging when he specially praised the NCP in the Rajya Sabha for maintaining House decorum by not rushing to the well of the House, where the chairperson sits.
"Today I want to appreciate two parties, NCP and BJD. These parties have wonderfully adhered to parliamentary norms. They have never ventured into the well. They have made their points very effectively. Much can be learned from these practices," Modi said.
The Congress has also kept the window open with the party officially saying that leaders of the two parties will meet to decide on the future course of action.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "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 & Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward "
The BJP and Shiv Sena contested the 21 October Assembly polls together, in which the BJP bagged 105 of the 288 seats, while Shiv Sena won 56 seats. However, the alliance fell apart after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray demanded rotational chief ministerial post, a demand rejected by the BJP.On the other hand, the Congress and the NCP won 44 and 54 seats, respectively in the state.
(With inputs from IANS)
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