Maharashtra Impasse: Sena, NCP, Congress Hold Talks; Pawar May Meet Sonia Gandhi
Leaders of the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena met in Mumbai on Thursday to work out a common minimum programme before finalising a possible alliance for government formation in Maharashtra.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are likely to meet in Delhi on Nov. 17, NCP sources said.
"Leaders of the allies Congress-NCP and the Sena held a meeting to work out consensus on common agenda of governance which will be called common minimum programme," a senior Congress leader said.
The CMP draft will need approval by top leaders of the three parties before it is finalised, he added.
WATCH | Sena, NCP, Congress leaders meet for talks on common minimum programme
Leaders of NCP, Congress and Sena came together for the first time to hold talks on Thursday after the Sena sought the support of two parties -- its traditional adversaries -- for government formation after falling out with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The meeting was attended by Maharashtra NCP chief Jayant Patil, NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and party's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik, Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Manikrao Thakare and Vijay Wadettiwar, and Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai.
Unlike the frenzy and buzz during the last few days, the political parties on Thursday were held away from media glare.
NCP sources said that Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi are likely to meet in Delhi on Nov. 17 and discuss possible government formation in alliance with the Shiv Sena.
Draft CMP would be discussed in the meeting between Gandhi and Pawar, the source added.
The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, kept up its attacks on estranged ally BJP.
Sena mouthpiece Saamna in its editorial on Thursday alleged that imposition of President's rule in Maharashtra was a "scripted act".
Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was shedding "crocodile tears" over the imposition of President's rule as power is indirectly in the hands of the BJP, it said.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut said had BJP president Amit Shah informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi "in time" about the "50:50" seat-sharing formula decided on by leaders of the two parties, the current impasse would have been avoided.
Shah, on Wednesday, had rejected Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's claim that the BJP had agreed to share the CM's post.
The state BJP is holding its state executive meeting here to discuss organisational matters and prevailing political situation.
President's rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to the Centre stating that formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation despite all his efforts.
The BJP and Shiv Sena, who fought the Oct. 21 state elections in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly.
But the BJP did not cede the Sena's demand of sharing the chief minister's post, leading to falling apart of the nearly three-decade-old alliance.
The Congress and NCP have won 44 and 54 seats.