Sangma-Pawar rift widening


The NCP leaders are also expected to deliberate on its political strategies with the Maharashtra assembly polls coming up in October-November. The recent arrest of the party MP Padamsinh Patil by the CBI in connection with a double murder case will also be discussed in the meeting.

The party removed Sangma’s son Conrad Sangma from the helm of its youth wing on Saturday, just a week after the former Lok Sabha Speaker called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and apologised for raking up the issue of her foreign origin 10 years ago.

Conrad was replaced by Rajeev Jha, a NCP leader from Bihar who was the working president of the Nationalist Youth Congress before being appointed as the president.
Sources said that the NCP chief Sharad Pawar and other top leaders from Maharashtra and other states would attend the meet on Monday, which had been convened to review the party’s performance in the just-concluded LS polls.

It was not clear if Sangma and his son Conrad would also take part in the meet.
Pawar is believed to be unhappy over Sangma’s apology to Gandhi, which triggered speculation over the possibility of the NCP’s merger with the Congress.

Pawar, Sangma and Tariq Anwar had quit the Congress in 1999 after they raked up the issue of Gandhi’s foreign origin.

The rebel troika later gave birth to the NCP.

Though Pawar toned down later and even tied up with the Congress, Sangma continued to be very critical about Gandhi and her party till recently when Sonia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inducted his daughter Agatha Sangma  in the Union Council of Ministers.
Both Gandhi and Singh last Sunday had attended a reception hosted by Sangma on the occasion of his son’s wedding.

Sources said that the NCP might also try to evolve a strategy in response to the former Maharashtra CM, Vilasrao Deshmukh’s campaign within the Congress that the party leading the UPA should go it alone in the assembly-polls.

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