Pawar indicates early solution

NEW DELHI, JULY 20. The NCP president, Mr. Sharad Pawar, has indicated an early solution to the situation arising out of the Maharashtra Government's decision to prosecute the Shiv Sena chief, Mr. Bal Thackeray, for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai riots.

The Petroleum Minister, Mr. Ram Naik, who is a senior BJP leader from the State, told reporters that Mr. Pawar gave this indication to him during a meeting with him early today.

Mr. Naik said that though the meeting was for discussing the issue of setting up pilot projects for manufacture of ethanol by sugar factories, the situation in Maharashtra also came up in the talks.

``We both felt that there will be an early end to it'', he said, adding that Mr. Pawar concurred with him that this needed to be ensured.

Mr. Naik was talking to reporters along with Shiv Sena members after a meeting of BJP and Shiv Sena MPs from Maharashtra to discuss the situation arising out of the Thackeray issue. He termed the action against the Sena chief as ``provocative''.