All roads lead to 10, Janpath, but dialogue leads to nowhere!

New Delhi: After a meeting that lasted for nearly 50 minutes with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence in New Delhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said his party will hold talks with their allies in Maharashtra on government formation.

Pawar told reporters that he had only briefed Gandhi about the political situation in Maharashtra and there was no discussion on government formation in the state.

“We have discussed in detail the political situation in Maharashtra,” he said.

“We will keep an eye on the situation in Maharashtra. Congress and NCP leaders will hold further talks on the future course of action,” he added. On being questioned about the claim made by Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut that the Sena can count support of 170 MLAs, the Veteran politician said, “I don’t know about this 170 figure. You should have asked them.” Notably, in his meeting with Sonia Gandhi, former defence minister AK Antony was also present.

“What ever the BJP has to do, its their right. We have a time limit of six months,” Pawar said. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said representatives from both the parties would be meeting in a day or two.

“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 and Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

Congress and NCP leaders have held a series of meetings in the last few days to finalise the modalities for a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra. Ahead of his meeting with Gandhi, Pawar said all political parties seeking to stake claim to form the government in Maharashtra had to “choose their own paths”.

Maharashtra was placed under the President’s rule on November 12 after no party or alliance staked claim to form government in the state. Pawar’s meeting with the Congress chief comes a day after the NCP’s core committee held a meeting in Pune and resolved that the President’s rule should end and an “alternative government” be formed in Maharashtra.

In October 21 Maharashtra polls, BJP-Sena saffron alliance had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, had won 44 and 54 seats respectively.

Later, Sanjay Rout met Pawar at latter’s residence and exuded confidence over the formation of government in Maharashtra. He said that the government led by his party will come to power. When asked about his meeting with Pawar, he said the former Union agriculture minister should lead a delegation to meet PM Modi and apprise him of the problems of the farmers in Maharashtra.
Interestingly, former Karnataka CM and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy took a jibe at political scenario in Maharashtra and said, it would be much easier for Congress party to form an alliance with BJP rather than with Shiv Sena as the former has a face of soft-hindutva while the latter is known for Hard Hindutva.

Dangerous step for congress: Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind President Arshad Madani has written a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi urging her not to form an alliance with Shiv Sena. “It is really unfortunate that you are considering to support Shiv Sena. It will be a very dangerous and harmful step for Congress party” an excerpt read.