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Maharashtra govt formation: Pawar silent on ties with Sena after meeting Sonia

NCP chief Sharad Pawar addresses a press conference after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss government formation in Maharashtra, in New Delhi on November 18, 2019.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar addresses a press conference after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss government formation in Maharashtra, in New Delhi on November 18, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Govt. formation not discussed, says the NCP chief

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who met Congress president Sonia Gandhi here on Monday for over 45 minutes, claimed that he didn’t talk about government formation in Maharashtra but only briefed her about the situation.

“There was no talk of government formation. This meeting was all about discussing the Congress and the NCP,” he told reporters, asked if Ms. Gandhi was opposed to a coalition government with the Shiv Sena.

“We discussed in detail Maharashtra’s political situation. I briefed her on it. Mr. A.K. Antony was also there. We will keep an eye on the situation. Some senior leaders of both Congress and NCP will meet and discuss further and get back to us,” he added.

His meeting with Ms. Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence comes days after he reportedly spoke with the Shiv Sena leadership on government formation.

Last week, the NCP chief had said a government will soon be in place and will last the full term of five years.

However, after his meeting with the Congress president, Mr. Pawar displayed no sense of hurry and said they still have to consult a few more pre-poll allies like Samajwadi Party and the Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan headed by Raju Shetti.

“We want to talk to all parties who supported us. We did not talk about the Shiv Sena,” the NCP chief said and refused to categorically rule out the possibility of a government with the Sena. To a question on the possibility of the NCP providing outside support to a BJP-led government, Mr. Pawar said “majority of the seats won by the NCP was against the BJP.”

“We discussed in detail Maharashtra’s political situation. I briefed her on it. Mr. A.K. Antony was also there. We will keep an eye on the situation. Some senior leaders of both Congress and NCP will meet and discuss further and get back to us,” he added.

His meeting with Ms. Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence comes days after he reportedly spoke with the Shiv Sena leadership on government formation.

Last week, the NCP chief had said a government will soon be in place and will last the full term of five years.

However, after his meeting with the Congress president, Mr. Pawar displayed no sense of hurry and said they still have to consult a few more pre-poll allies like Samajwadi Party and the Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan headed by Raju Shetti.

“We want to talk to all parties who supported us. We did not talk about the Shiv Sena,” the NCP chief said and refused to categorically rule out the possibility of a government with the Sena. To a question on the possibility of the NCP providing outside support to a BJP-led government, Mr. Pawar said “majority of the seats won by the NCP was against the BJP.”

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 12:45:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/maharashtra-govt-formation-ncp-chief-sharad-pawar-meets-congress-chief-sonia-gandhi/article30007833.ece

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