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Sena leaders met us, but no proposal made: Pawar

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With an alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra still uncertain, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said here on Saturday that Sena leaders had met Nationalist Congress Party leaders, but the former offered no concrete proposal.

“Yes, two or three Sena leaders definitely met us earlier, but there was no formal proposal. And even if there was one, we would not have been interested,” Mr. Pawar told presspersons.

Speculation has been rife ever since rumours surfaced that Sena leaders met NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar late on Friday. The Sena’s purpose was ostensibly to gain the NCP’s support for the post of Speaker in the Maharashtra Assembly.

“It is as well that the BJP and the Sena break the impasse and come together so we [the NCP] can be free,” said Mr. Pawar, whose party has offered unsolicited and unconditional support to the BJP in the State.

However, in Mumbai, Sena leader Sanjay Raut categorically denied that any meeting took place.

“There is no truth in this. These are rumours. No Sena leader has met with any NCP or Congress leader. If he has, then it must have been in a personal capacity,” Mr. Raut said.

On the question of the Speaker’s post, Mr. Pawar said his party would take a decision after the November 12 trust vote.

The NCP is likely to vote in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Maharashtra during the confidence motion next week, instead of supporting it by abstention — which had earlier been the party’s stance immediately after the declaration of the election results.

“The NCP has no desire to see an unstable government in Maharashtra,” said Mr. Pawar justifying its offer of support to the BJP.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:37:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sena-leaders-met-us-but-no-proposal-made-pawar/article6579262.ece

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