New Delhi: Veteran leader Sharad Pawar, who had objected to Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins in 1997 and decided to part ways with the Congress, seems to have buried his differences with the former Congress president.
Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress have decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election together. The parties have arrived at a consensus on 40 seats and decision on remaining eight will be done in a few days. Maharashtra has 48 Lok Sabha seats, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh's 80.
"The Congress and the NCP have made progress in their discussions on seat-sharing in Maharashtra for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha election. We are always of the opinion that like-minded parties should come together. I am sure that the alliance will achieve great success," senior NCP leader Praful Patel told reporters.
The two parties are currently holding discussions with like-minded parties on sharing the seats, he added.
The former Union minister made the remarks even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a meeting with key leaders to discuss the party's preparation for the Lok Sabha polls.
"We want to bring parties which believe in (chief Constitution maker) B R Ambedkar's ideology together," Patel added, without naming any political outfit.
Sources said the leaders also discussed resolution of differences among them in certain constituencies, including Beed, ahead of the elections.
The sources said the seat-sharing would be finalised by the central leadership of the Congress and the NCP.
"The ball is in the court of the central leaders. The two parties would submit their respective reports regarding seat-sharing to their respective central leaders. Based on that the arrangement will be finalised," they added.