National

Top Congress leaders in huddle over support for Shiv Sena

NCP leader Nawab Malik (left) and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan at a press conference. | File

NCP leader Nawab Malik (left) and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan at a press conference. | File   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Congress is insisting on the inclusion of ‘secularism’ in the Common Minimum Programme

Top Congress leaders and core members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) continued to brainstorm on Thursday morning at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence over the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) to support a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra.

On Thursday, The Hindu reported how the use of the word “secularism” was proving tricky for the parties to come to an agreement.

Also read: Maharashtra government formation: ‘Secularism’ emerges as bone of contention

Sources claimed that the Congress was insisting on the inclusion of ‘secularism’ in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), while the Shiv Sena does not want it so.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar is learnt to have suggested that the CMP could simply refer to abide by the Preamble of the Constitution without explicitly mentioning it.

“Yesterday’s (Wednesday) meeting was on Common Minimum Programme and leaders of the two parties (NCP and Congress) have said the deliberations were positive. In a day or two, the three parties will reach a consensus. Maharashtra will get a stable government led by Shiv Sena before December,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too met separately and and a joint meeting between Congress-NCP is scheduled for the afternoon.

There will be another meeting in Mumbai on Friday, and if all goes well between the potential allies, a formal announcement could be made.

“There are four or five issues that need to be clarified,” said Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat after the morning meeting of the Congress.

The formulation on secularism is going to be a crucial one for the Congress as one of its allies in Kerala, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), met Ms. Gandhi over the possible tie-up with the Sena.

On Wednesday, for the first time, the Congress-NCP alliance said that they in-principle agreed to be part of a Sena-led alliance.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 5:34:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/top-congress-leaders-in-huddle-over-support-for-shiv-sena/article30036418.ece

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