Narendra Modi, Sharad Pawar held secret talks on forging alliance: Report

With the Lok Sabha elections nearing, political equations appear to be changing fast.

Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal

New Delhi/Mumbai: With the Lok Sabha elections nearing, political equations appear to be changing fast.

Days after senior NCP leader and Union minister Praful Patel sought to let BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi off the hook for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, it has emerged that the two parties have held secret talks.

As per reports in a Marathi newspaper on Friday, Modi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar – whose party currently is part of the ruling UPA at the Centre – met on January 17 for talks on possible alliance post General Elections due in May.

For now, NCP leaders including Pawar have sought to debunk the reports dubbing them false.

However, Patel`s remarks on Modi have fuelled speculation over NCP deboarding the UPA.
Patel, the Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, had said: “If judiciary has given certain finality to controversy, I think we should lay it to rest.”

His remarks had come after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said in an interview to a news channel that Modi had abetted the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.

It is also believed that Pawar is not comfortable with the idea of working under a much-younger Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress has named Rahul as its face for the 2014 poll campaign and it is widely believed that if the UPA comes back to power, he would lead the next government.

Current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already ruled himself out of a third possible term.

But whether the BJP-NCP alliance will materialise or not remains to be seen as the BJP`s Maharashtra unit is reported to be averse to the idea of joining hands with NCP.