The much hyped meeting between Nationalist Congress party Chief Sharad Pawar and interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi tipped to be one regarding government formation in Maharashtra ended in a whimper.
Adding the mystery to the issue was , Sharad Pawar who said he had only discussed the political situation in Maharashtra with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the two parties will hold talks with their other allies, before taking a decision on government formation in the state.
He said if the NCP-Congress had to take a view on government formation, they had to first discuss it between themselves. Thus Keeping the Shiv Sena waiting in the wings.
Addressing a press conference after his meeting with Gandhi that lasted for about 50 minutes, the Maratha strongman also said there was no discussion on a common minimum programme during the talks.
“There was no talk of government formation at our meeting. This meeting was all about discussing the Congress and the NCP and the situation in the state,” he said.
“We will keep an eye on the situation in Maharashtra. Congress and NCP leaders will hold further talks on the future course of action,” Pawar added.
His remarks kept the suspense on government formation alive as the NCP, over the last few days, had been in talks with ally Congress for a possible coalition with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena, after the latter’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party fell apart over the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra.
“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 said in a tweet.
Sh. 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
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) November 18, 2019
Pawar stressed on the need to talk to allies like the Samajwadi party, the Republican Party of India (Kawade faction), the Raju Shetti-led Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and the Peasants Workers Party.
Later, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut met Pawar at the latter’s residence and exuded confidence that a new government, led by his party, will soon come to power in Maharashtra.
Asked about his meeting with Pawar, Raut said the former Union agriculture minister should lead a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprise him of the problems of the farmers in Maharashtra.