Maha Crisis: Sharad Pawar will meet Sonia Gandhi on Sunday
MEW DELHI : The meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar scheduled on Sunday to discuss the way forward for government formation in Maharashtra has been postponed to Monday, sources said today.
The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for government formation after its demand for sharing the chief minister’s post and equal distribution of portfolios was rejected by the BJP, its pre-poll ally.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief will fly to Delhi from Mumbai on Sunday evening, the sources said. The two are scheduled to meet to discuss forming government with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had said on Friday.
His comment came hours after it was announced the three parties have agreed on a minimum agenda and will meet with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today, which was also postponed because members of the delegation were in their constituencies carrying out drought inspection visits and filing election expenditure documents.
“Congress alone can’t decide things. NCP chief Sharad Pawar and AICC president Sonia Gandhi will sit together and discuss the next course of action. After that, other actions will follow,” “Once they both sit and discuss, only then will the political strategy be prepared,” he added.
The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will form government in Maharashtra, which will complete a full term, Mr Pawar said on Friday.”This government will be formed and it will complete five years. We all will ensure this government runs for five years,” Mr Pawar said.
The Shiv Sena and BJP had contested the Maharashtra assembly election as allies and together got a majority in the 288-strong assembly. After the polls, however, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party’s claim that BJP chief Amit Shah had promised rotational chief ministership, caused friction between the two partners.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil had on Friday said that they will soon form government in the state, claiming that his party can count on support of 119 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly.
Maharashtra has been under President’s rule since Tuesday after no party or alliance staked claim to form government or conveyed support of adequate number of MLAs to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
The three-party coalition, a new experiment in Maharashtra involving outfits with diverse ideologies, will be led by the Sena, leaders in the Uddhav Thackeray-party and the NCP said, marking a progress in power-sharing negotiations. They have already prepared a draft common minimum programme (CMP).
The BJP, meanwhile, claimed that it would form the government, without disclosing how it would cobble up majority figure of 145 in the 288-member house. Asked if the Sena will give up its demand for the Bharat Ratna for Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar and accept quota for Muslims, Raut evaded a direct reply and said, “We know the source of such speculation.”
(Agency Inputs with Bureau Report from Mumbai ).