Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar to hold talks on Maharashtra crisis; NCP-Congress-Sena leaders to meet Governor today

Sonia and Pawar are also likely to take a final call on the draft common minimum programme (CMP) for the proposed coalition government in Maharashtra.

Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar to hold talks on Maharashtra crisis; NCP-Congress-Sena leaders to meet Governor today

MUMBAI: Amid the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar would meet on Sunday to discuss their next course of action.

Sonia and Pawar are also likely to take a final call on the draft common minimum programme (CMP) agreed by the three parties - NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena- for the proposed coalition government in Maharashtra.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also the party's in-charge for Maharashtra, had said on Friday that his party alone cannot take decisions and the two leaders will meet on Sunday.

"Congress alone can`t decide things. NCP chief Sharad Pawar and AICC interim president Sonia Gandhi will sit together on November 17 and discuss the next course of action. They will decide how to solve this problem. Only after that, the other actions will follow," Kharge said.

He said once they both sit and discuss, only then will the political strategy be prepared. "That will be followed and implemented," he said.

Live TV

Meanwhile, a delegation of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena leaders is also slated to meet the state's Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday.

According to NCP leader Nawab Malik, the Maharashtra Governor had given Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress leaders time for a meeting on Saturday at 3 pm.

Though the scheduled meeting had triggered speculations about the three parties jointly staking claim to form the government in Maharashtra, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan and NCP leader Nawab Malik denied the reports, saying the leaders of the three parties will only discuss issues concerning the state's farmers with the Governor.

"I am aware that our joint delegation is to meet the Governor. This is clear that we are meeting for the farmers` issue and nothing about government formation will be on our agenda in that meeting," said Chavan. 

While Malik stated, "Governor has allowed our request to meet him at 3 pm on Saturday and during this meeting, we will discuss farmers issues only, there should not be much speculation about it. Members of NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress will be part of the delegation meeting the Governor".

According to sources, the Congress party will first sort-out modalities with its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after which it will initiate talks with Shiv Sena for the government formation in Maharashtra.

The three parties are having talks for the formation of a secular and non-BJP government in the state where the President`s Rule was imposed earlier this week.

The Shiv Sena and the BJP, who had fought the polls together, could not form the government due to bitter differences over power-sharing.

The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 105 seats in 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.