Patel scotches rumours of Pawar talks with Modi

Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel on Friday scotched rumours indicating that party was holding talks with Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, but added “Options are always open for political parties.”

Talking to media after a party meeting wherein an overall strategy was discussed and tasks were entrusted to local leaders for organising the campaign for the forthcoming elections, Patel said: “ Let me make it clear that we are in alliance with the Congress and will continue to do so.”

He said that Sharad Pawar as Union Agriculture Minister meets Chief Ministers of various states in official meetings, “ ...and these meetings are not political in nature. One should know the difference between these two kind of meetings. And Sharad Pawar has not met BJP's Narendra Modi to discuss political combinations at all.”

However, he lamented that the Congress has delayed the seat alliance talks for far too long which is not a good sign adding “Elections are round the corner and political parties need clarity on issues and alliance. Options are open to all political parties."

NCP will be contesting 22 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats while Congress will contesting 26, and according to Patel, “ This is already decided..give and take a seat here or a seat there... but it is time that Congress comes and sits down for the seat sharing talks. I will be meeting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday night.”

 In New Delhi, BJP President Rajnath Singh denied that there had been any meeting between  Pawar and Modi and dismissed any speculation of a likely tie up. “As far as my knowledge goes,  there was no meeting between the two,” he added.

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