Ahead of Nationalist Congress Party supremo Sharad Pawar’s meeting with Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, the former on Monday said in Maharashtra the BJP and Shiv Sena had fought the elections together and “they have to choose their paths”.
Speaking to media in Parliament, Pawar said, “The BJP-Shiv Sena fought together, we (NCP) and Congress fought together in the elections. They have to choose their path and we will do our politics.”
He said he will meet Sonia Gandhi later in the day at her residence.
Congress sources said in the meeting the heads of the NCP and Congress are likely to discuss the next course of action in politically fractured Maharashtra where President’s rule was imposed last Tuesday after Shive Sena parted ways with the BJP and failed to persuade the Governor on government formation. The largest party, BJP, had already expressed its inability to form the government. Pawar and Sonia Gandhi would discuss prospects of an alliance with the ideologically opposite Shiv Sena.
Party sources said Congress and NCP, the pre-poll alliance partners, are working on the common minimum programme (CMP) with the Shiv Sena for the government formation.
Congress sources said that before saying yes to the alliance, the party wants Shiv Sena to shed its hardline Hindutva ideology and take a secular stand on several issues.
He also said the NCP wants the Congress to be part of the government.
Pre-poll allies BJP and Shiv Sena contested the October 21 Assembly polls together. The BJP bagged 105 out of 288 seats while Shiv Sena managed to win 56 seats. However, the alliance fell apart after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackarey demanded rotational chief ministerial post, a demand denied by the BJP.
On the other hand, the Congress and the NCP won 44 and 54 seats, respectively in the state.