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NCP, Congress yet to agree on key issues in Maharashtra

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday held a meeting with top party leaders including state chief Jayant Patil, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde in Pune before meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The NCP, supported by a section of the Con...

ET Bureau|
Nov 17, 2019, 11.07 PM IST
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Sharad-Pawar-
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday held a meeting with top party leaders.
MUMBAI: The process to form a government in Maharashtra may take a few more days as the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders are yet to come to an agreement on whether to support a Senaled government, the manner of government formation and the portfolios to be shared.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday held a meeting with top party leaders including state chief Jayant Patil, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde in Pune before meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The NCP, supported by a section of the Congress, is batting for a Sena government.

The Congress leadership has, however, not yet committed entirely, and NCP leaders believe that things will be clearer after Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, which is expected to take place on Monday. NCP leader Nawab Malik on Sunday said after the NCP meeting, “We have reached a conclusion that the state needs to have a government as soon as possible.

Since there has been an alliance with the Congress, we will take a further decision jointly with the Congress.” NCP’s Jayant Patil told reporters on Sunday before the NCP meeting that the process of government formation will take a while. Patil claimed that the Sena is better than the BJP. “The Sena is a brick and the BJP is a stone; a brick is softer than a stone.”

Patil also claimed that some party leaders who had quit the party and joined the BJP and have been elected as BJP MLAs are in touch with the NCP, along with some independents who are currently with the BJP.

SENA NERVOUS
The delay in government formation is making the Sena camp nervous. On Saturday, a joint delegation of the Congress, NCP and Sena leaders, which was to meet the Maharashtra Governor to seek more relief for farmers, was postponed.

Congress leaders said that till the alliance got the approval of the Congress high command, it would be inappropriate for the Congress leaders to go on a joint delegation with the Sena and hence it was postponed. The Congress leadership might be dragging its feet, but on the ground, both the Congress and NCP leaders have been sparing no effort to show their bonhomie with the Sena. On Sunday, while the Sena was observing the death anniversary of its former party chief Bal Thackeray, Congress and NCP leaders –– from Jayant Patil to Chaggan Bhujbal were in attendance at Shivaji Park to pay their respects. Bhai Jagtap of the Congress, who was also present, told reporters that nothing much should be read into his visit.

BJP MAKES ITS PRESENCE FELT
Despite its deteriorating relation with the Sena, BJP leaders visited the venue, although it was much after Uddhav Thackeray had left. First to come was BJP leader VinodTawde, followed by Pankaja Munde and finally former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The latter was jeered at by Shiv Sainiks.

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