New Delhi: A day after Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form government in the state, senior Congress leaders are scheduled to meet NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai to discuss government formation process.

The Congress leadership has deputed veterans Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and KC Venugopal to hold talks with Pawar. The three leaders are also expected to discuss the offer made by Shiv Sena for government formation. Koshyari had earlier invited Shiv Sena to form the government but the party could not garner the required numbers.

"We have not extended our support to Shiv Sena yet, our letters of support has not gone to the governor yet. Congress had an alliance with NCP before the elections and the first discussion will be held with NCP. Congress leadership is sending some leaders to meet Sharad Pawar along with state leaders of Maharashtra. The next step will be taken only after holding talks with Pawar," said a senior Congress leader based in Mumbai.

The talks over government formation started after Shiv Sena approached Pawar. Shiv Sena is keen to form government with the help of NCP and Congress.

Even though Congress is facing pressure from its Members of Legislative Assembly in Maharahstra to join the alliance with Shiv Sena and NCP, party president Sonia Gandhi is not keen to become part of the alliance. A section of Congress leaders believes there should be adventurism by the party in Maharashtra.

If at all the alliance between the three parties come together, they have a clear majority in the state assembly. While Shiv Sena is the largest party with 56 seats in the 288-member assembly, NCP has 54 seats and Congress 44.

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