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  Metros   Mumbai  05 Nov 2019  Pawar meets Sonia, says Cong, NCP doesn’t have the numbers

Pawar meets Sonia, says Cong, NCP doesn’t have the numbers

Published : Nov 5, 2019, 1:59 am IST
Updated : Nov 5, 2019, 6:09 am IST

Both sides decided to meet again later after discussing with their parties.

NCP President Sharad Pawar  (Photo: ANI)
 NCP President Sharad Pawar (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: True to his style, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar kept stirring the political pot in Maharashtra on Monday as he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss possible scenarios for the Congress-NCP to form or support a government in the state. Both sides decided to meet again later after discussing with their parties.

Mr Pawar, however, differed with some Congress leaders who felt the ongoing power struggle between the BJP and the Shiv Sena was a bargaining game. “I think the game between the two is serious,” he said, adding at least twice that the Sena seemed interested in leading the state government.

For the Shiv Sena too, the old warhorse had a message. On being repeatedly asked about the options that the Congress-NCP was exploring, he said that there was no communication from the Sena as of now and his mandate remained to sit in the Opposition.

When reporters reminded him of his meeting with Sena leader Sanjay Raut, Mr Pawar dismissed it as a routine meeting, saying any such proposal or communication has to come from none other that Uddhav Thackeray. “As of now, we do not have the numbers,” the NCP chief said, but asserted he does not know what would happen in the future. “The ground level situation as of today is against the BJP.”

He, however, said the responsibility of forming the state government was with the BJP. “The mandate given by the people of Maharashtra to the NCP is to sit in the Opposition, but you cannot speak about the future.”

In the Assembly polls, the BJP won 105 seats, the Shiv Sena 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44 seats.

The NCP-Congress tally surprised many even in their own parties. The success is chiefly ascribed to Mr Pawar’s relentless campaign and the ED case against him, that he successfully managed to turn into a political tool to make a comeback.

On Monday, Mr Pawar said that at the meeting with the Congress president he apprised her of the current political situation in the state, but did not exactly discuss government formation.

Sources told this newspaper that a section of the Congress leadership is opposed to the idea of getting into any kind of political arrangement with the Shiv Sena, citing deep ideological differences. However, another section, chiefly consisting of Maharashtra leaders, feels any such opportunity should be explored as it gave out positive vibes to party workers.

Asked about the possibility of President’s Rule in the state, Mr Pawar said: “We do not want that. We want the people who got the mandate to form the government”.

More than two weeks after the results were announced on October 21, the BJP and the Shiv Sena have been at loggerheads over government formation, with the latter demanding a 50:50 share of the chief ministership.

Tags: sharad pawar, uddhav thackeray
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi