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Congress’ final decision after Sonia-Pawar telephonic talk

Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal are reaching Mumbai on Tuesday morning to hold parleys with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

ET Bureau|
Nov 12, 2019, 07.03 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: After Shiv Sena, the second-largest party, formally staked claim to form government in Maharashtra, the Congress high command said the party would take a formal decision only after holding ‘further discussions with NCP chef Sharad Pawar’. Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal are reaching Mumbai on Tuesday morning to hold parleys with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Before a possible telephonic talk between Pawar and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Congress and NCP leaders may also meet Shiv Sena representatives.

“Congress and NCP are alliance partners and we will have to take a collective decision on the next step,” said a senior Congress leader.

Earlier, when Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray spoke to Gandhi, she told him that Congress will take a final decision only after talking to Pawar.

Earlier in the day, a CWC meeting in the national capital discussed the pros and cons of Congress backing a Shiv Sena-led government and resolved that the Congress president should hold talks with Maharashtra Congress MLAs to assess their view. While most of the Maharashtra MLAs favoured tactical backing for a Senaled government, leaders of Kerala, which has sent 16 Congress MPs to the Lok Sabha, opposed any tango with Sena. Many other central leaders were in favour of a tactical support to a Sena-NCP-led government.

Maharashtra Congress leaders insisted that there would be an ‘anti-BJP government’ in the state. Some state Congress leaders also spoke of NCP-Congress combine leading the government, a clear indication of bargaining for ministerial positions.
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