NEW DELHI/MUMBAI :
Pawar denies having finalised any Common Minimum Programme with Congress and Shiv Sena
NO EARLY resolution of the 26-day-old impasse on Government formation in Maharashtra appeared in sight on Monday, even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the issue did not figure in his meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi earlier in the day. Pawar also denied having finalised any Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with Congress and Shiv Sena and said that they will monitor the situation in the State which is currently under President’s rule.
“Colleagues in Vidhan Sabha meet and talk. There is nothing more than this. We have never talked about the Common Minimum Programme. For what reason shall we do this until we decide our future action,” Pawar told reporters when asked about coordination committee meetings for Common Minimum Programme (CMP) in which Shiv Sena leaders Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai were present along with Congress and NCP leaders. Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde had earlier said that the final decision on the draft CMP will be taken by the leadership of three parties.
“The draft will be sent to high commands of three parties for discussion. The final decision will be taken by them,” he had said. Asked if he would rule out the NCP supporting the BJP in forming the Government, Pawar evaded a direct reply and pointed out that the BJP was his party’s major opponent in the Assembly polls. “The BJP and Sena contested the polls jointly. Ask them why are they not forming the Government,” Pawar said. There was no response to Pawar’s remarks from the Shiv Sena, which is banking on the support of NCP and Congress to keep the BJP away from power.
When asked about Shiv Sena claiming to have the support of 170 MLAs, Pawar said: “I don’t know about this 170 figure. You should have asked them (Shiv Sena).” Amid the impasse over Government formation in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday extolled the virtues of the Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Parliament, praising the party for strictly “adhering to parliamentary norms.” Later Pawar said that NCP believes that the dignity of the House should be maintained. “There was discussion over the functioning of Rajya Sabha.
Prime Minister and other members said something. It was also said that the dignity of the House should be maintained. I remember during my 75th ceremony, a reference of me was given that for the past 52 years I was a member of either Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha or Vidhan Sabha but I never went to the well,” he said while commenting on Prime Minister appreciating the NCP at a special discussion to mark the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha or Upper House of Parliament. “If you have to speak against the Government you should speak from your seat.
The dignity of the House should be maintained. This is our policy. This reference was given by the Prime Minister,” he added. In Mumbai, the BJP opted out of fray for the November 22 mayoral poll in India’s richest civic body, leaving the Sena retaining the Mayor’s post a mere formality. Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Pawar said he briefed Gandhi about the political situation in Maharashtra and that there was no talk on Government formation in the State. “We have discussed in detail the political situation in Maharashtra,” 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,” he added.
The NCP is in talks with ally Congress for a possible coalition with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena after the latter’s alliance with the BJP fell apart over the Chief Minister’s post in Maharashtra. Pawar’s meeting with the Congress chief comes a day after the NCP’s core committee meeting in Pune resolved that the President’s Rule should end and an alternative Government be formed in Maharashtra. In an editorial in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the Sena said the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, left the affected farmers in the State disappointed with the “meagre” relief. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has put off his November 24 visit to Ayodhya, a Sena leader said on Monday. “The Government formation process is taking time.
Leaders of the three parties (Sena, NCP and Congress) are holding meetings. They are inching towards Government formation. In view of these developments, Uddhavji has decided to postpone his visit to Ayodhya,” a Sena leader said. Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut met pawar and exuded confidence that the state would soon get a government led by his party. “Since he (Pawar) was the Union agriculture minister and is also a senior leader, he should lead a delegation of leaders and meet the prime minister to apprise him about the farmers' woes in the country,” Raut said.