Maharashtra: Congress leaders to meet Pawar for final discussion

New Delhi:  Congress leaders on Tuesday will meet the senior leadership of its ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for the final round of talks to end the deadlock in government formation in Maharashtra.

However, the final call will be taken by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi. according to sources.

“Earlier, Congress was not included in discussions about the role in the government. Only NCP and Shiv Sena were talking to each other. Now, senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal have taken the green signal from Sonia Gandhi about the conditions of talks with NCP ,” sources said.

There is no direct communication between the Shiv Sena and Congress and NCP chief Sharad Pawar is the link between two parties, sources said.

After their meeting with him, Congress leaders will give their final report to Sonia Gandhi to take the final decision.

According to sources, 26 out of 44 Congress MLAs who are Marathas want the party to join the government.

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Earlier, Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal had said that party interim president Sonia Gandhi spoke to Pawar about the current political situation.
“Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke to Sharad Pawar today morning and deputed Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and myself for holding further discussions with Pawar. We three are going to Mumbai now and will meet Pawar at the earliest,” Venugopal tweeted.

Kharge also said a collective decision will be taken by Congress and NCP about the government formation.

NCP and Congress had a pre-poll alliance and final decision will be a collective decision. Our talks with NCP are on, and we will only move forward once discussions with them are done,” he told ANI.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday evening asked Sharad Pawar to indicate the willingness and ability of his party, which finished third in the assembly polls, to form the government in Maharashtra.

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The deadline for the NCP to stake a claim for the government formation will end by 8:30 pm today.

The development came after Shiv Sena, which is keen to have its chief minister in the state, did not get additional time from Governor to submit letters of support from the NCP and Congress.

, which emerged as the single-largest party in Maharashtra assembly polls with 105 seats, declined to form the government following differences with Shiv Sena on sharing power.

The NCP has 54 MLAs while its alliance partner Congress has 44. The majority mark in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly is 145.

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