NEW DELHI :
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are likely to meet again on Wednesday to discuss a common minimum programme (CMP) and the possibility of forming a government in Maharashtra, which is currently under President’s rule.
“The meeting between Congress and the NCP is likely to take place on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of government formation in Maharashtra," senior NCP leader Nawab Malik told reporters. He added that though the meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, it had to be postponed because Congress leaders were occupied with the birth anniversary celebrations of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The hour-long meeting on Monday between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi ended in a stalemate with both parties failing to reach common ground.
Meanwhile, Gandhi on Tuesday held a meeting at her residence with the party’s top leadership, including Ahmed Patel, A.K. Antony and Mallikarjun Kharge, to discuss the political developments in Maharashtra, and the way forward for Congress.
The challenge for the Congress-NCP alliance is to get the required numbers to even reach the halfway mark in the 288-member assembly, considering that they could only manage to win 44 and 54 seats, respectively, in the Maharashtra elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had emerged as the single largest party with 105 seats, did not stake claim to form the government in the state after its pre-poll alliance partner, the Shiv Sena, parted ways over differences in the power sharing arrangement. While Sena, the junior partner of the alliance with just 56 seats, wanted equal representation in the state cabinet, besides sharing of the chief ministership equally during the five-year term of the government, the BJP refused to entertain the demand. Though the BJP enjoys support of at least 10 independent members of the legislative assembly, besides other smaller parties, without the Sena, it would have fallen way short of the majority mark of 145 seats.