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Pawar to meet Sonia to discuss alliance with Sena


New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar will meet Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday evening to discuss a possible alliance with the Shiv Sena to form a government in Maharashtra.

Speaking to IANS in Parliament, Pawar said, "I will meet Sonia Gandhi at her residence today in the evening."

According to Congress leaders, the meeting will take place at Sonia Gandhi's residence and would focus on Maharashtra where President's rule was imposed last Tuesday.

Party sources said pre-poll alliance partners -- Congress and NCP -- have already worked out a common minimum programme (CMP) with the Shiv Sena for the government formation.

Sources indicated that during the meeting, the portfolios among the three parties and the formula for the government will be discussed.

Congress sources said that before saying yes to the alliance, the party wants the Shiv Sena to shed its hard Hindutva ideology and take a secular stand on several issues.

He also said the NCP wants the Congress to be part of the government.

Pre-poll allies BJP and Shiv Sena contested the October 21 Assembly polls together. The BJP bagged 105 out of 288 seats while Shiv Sena managed to win 56 seats. However, the alliance fell apart after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackarey demanded rotational chief ministerial post, a demand denied by the BJP.

On the other hand, the Congress and the NCP won 44 and 54 seats, respectively in the state.



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