Congress on Friday downplayed the standoff with its ally NCP maintaining that its chief Sharad Pawar is a senior and respectable leader of UPA, and all the issues with the party will be solved through talks.

“In our eyes Sharad Pawar is a senior and respectable leader. He is looked upon with reverence in UPA as such,” Congress General Secretary and head of the media cell, Janardan Dwivedi told reporters here.

Asked to comment on the reports over NCP expressing unhappiness over issues of protocol within UPA, Mr. Dwivedi said in a coalition government, allies can look at issues differently.

“In alliance government, different allies can look at an issue differently. If any such things happen in government a solution emerges through talks,” he said.

On whether the NCP chief was mulling the option of pulling out of the government, Mr. Dwivedi said, “There is no such serious problem. A solution will be found.”

Mr. Pawar, a former Chief Minister and one of the senior members of the Cabinet, is believed to be hurt over the lack of consultations by Congress with allies and its reluctance to include the party in crucial Cabinet panels like Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

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