No talk on government formation in Maharashtra, says Sharad Pawar after meeting with Sonia Gandhi

Mumbai: Keeping his cards close to his chest, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said he had only discussed the political situation in Maharashtra with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the two parties will hold talks with their other allies, before taking a decision on government formation in the state.

Pawar, whose meeting with Sonia was being billed as a major step towards a tie-up with the Shiv Sena for government formation in the state, said if the NCP-Congress had to take a view on government formation, they had to first discuss it between themselves.

Addressing a press conference after his meeting with Gandhi on Monday that lasted for about 50 minutes, the Maratha strongman also said there was no discussion on a common minimum programme during the talks.

“There was no talk of government formation at our meeting. This meeting was all about discussing the Congress and the NCP and the situation in the state,” he said.

“We will keep an eye on the situation in Maharashtra. Congress and NCP leaders will hold further talks on the future course of action,” Pawar added.

His remarks kept the suspense on government formation alive as the NCP, over the last few days, had been in talks with ally Congress for a possible coalition with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena, after the latter’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party fell apart over the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra.

“Sharad Pawar met the Congress president today and briefed her on the situation in Maharashtra. It was decided that in a day or two, representatives from NCP and Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.