Maharashtra: Pawar meets Sonia amid political stalemate

Nationalist Congress President (NCP) Sharad Pawar (PTI Photo)

Amid an impasse over government formation in Maharashtra, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence here to discuss the political situation in the state.

In the meeting that lasted over half an hour, sources said the two leaders discussed the possibilities of forming an alternative government and support the Shiv Sena in case it decides to move out of its alliance with the BJP.

The two leaders were earlier expected to meet in the afternoon but Pawar had to attend a parliamentary standing committee meeting.

They are learnt to have discussed the current political situation in Maharashtra after a tussle between the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena, which is playing hardball on the issue of chief minister's post and demanding an equal division of the tenure of the chief minister.

The BJP is not agreeing to the demand.

The BJP and the Sena are locked in a bitter dispute over the issue, resulting in a stalemate over government formation despite results of the Assembly polls on October 24 giving the saffron alliance a combined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House.

In the polls, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.

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