Maharashtra: Sharad Pawar says no talks with Sena for alliance
As the Maharashtra power tussle continues even a week after President's Rule was imposed in the state, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has taken a U-turn. Pawar has now said that there have been no talks with the Shiv Sena for an alliance. On Friday, Pawar had said that a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance would complete a full term in Maharashtra. Here's more.
Discussed Maharashtra's political situation with Sonia Gandhi, says Pawar
On Monday, Pawar held a 45-minute meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi at her official residence, in the presence of Congress leader AK Anthony. Following the meeting, Pawar addressed reporters saying, "We discussed in detail about Maharashtra's political situation." He said he will keep an eye on the situation while the two parties continue talks over a future course of action.
'Did not discuss government formation with any party'
When asked about a possible alliance with Shiv Sena, Pawar said, "We did not discuss government formation with any party. We just discussed numbers, who has how many." Pawar went on to say that he would hold talks with smaller allies- the Peasants and Workers Party, Shetkari Sangathan and Samajwadi Party- as they had been angry over being neglected.
Pawar briefed Gandhi on Maharashtra situation: Congress spokesperson
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, "Sharad Pawar met the Congress President today and briefed her on the situation in Maharashtra. It was decided that in a day or two, representatives from NCP & Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward."
Pawar recently said negotiations with Sena, Congress were on
Notably, on Friday, Pawar had told reporters that the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance would complete a full five year term and that negotiations were on. The Sena, NCP, and Congress have 56, 54, and 44 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party is the single-largest party with 105 seats. The BJP-Sena alliance had won a majority, however, the alliance fell apart post the elections.
We'll do our own politics, says Pawar
Further, Pawar repeatedly heightened suspense about forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena. "Shiv Sena-BJP contested separately, NCP-Congress contested separately, how can you say that? They (BJP-Sena) have to find their own way. We'll do our own politics," Pawar was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Shiv Sena remains confident they will form government
Interestingly, after the meeting with Gandhi, Pawar was visited by Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut at his home. After the meeting, Raut said that the two held talks over agricultural problems as Pawar is a former Union Agriculture Minister. Raut dodged questions about Maharashtra government formation, however, exuded confidence that a Shiv Sena-led coalition will form the government.