After a round of Congress-NCP talks in Delhi over portfolio sharing in Maharashtra, Union Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar reached here on Friday and met senior party leaders on the issue.
Apart from his nephew Ajit Pawar, the NCP Legislature party leader Chhagan Bhujbal and state unit chief R R Patil, Union Minister Praful Patel was present at the close-door deliberations at Mr. Pawar’s residence.
Mr. Pawar along with Mr. Patel had on Thursday met Defence Minister A K Antony, who is general secretary in charge of the state and Ahmed Patel, political advisor to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi at his residence in Delhi to hammer out a solution.
The NCP is insisting on the 1999 formula of portfolio sharing while Congress wants its ally to part with the key portfolios of Home, Finance, Power.
Mr. Ajit Pawar, who lost the race for NCP Legislature party leader to Mr. Bhujbal, had created a political storm on Thursdday when he said he had been offered the Chief Minister’s post by the opposition Shiv Sena-BJP if he switches sides.
Mr. Ajit Pawar had said NCP will not join the government if Congress does not accept its demand of sticking to the 1999 formula of portfolio sharing.