Senior leaders of the Congress and the NCP held talks here on Wednesday with a focus on firming up the modalities for taking a shot at government formation in Maharashtra.
The meeting took place at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh, Mallikarjun Kharge, Prithviraj Chavan, K C Venugopal and Balasaheb Thorat attended the meeting.
Those representing the NCP included Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik.
The NCP and Congress leaders are also expected to discuss a myriad of issues - right from the name of their likely alliance if they join hands with the ideologically opposite Shiv Sena to the contours of their tie-up in the coming polls in their meeting scheduled for Wednesday, an NCP leader said.
The Congress and the NCP are not comfortable with the name â€˜Maha Shiv Aghadiâ€™ (a grand alliance comprising the Shiv Sena), the leader said.
â€œWe donâ€™t want name of any party in the alliance. Even in the NDA and the UPA alliances donâ€™t have names of parties,â€ÂÂÂ the leader added.
The Congress-NCP alliance is known as â€˜Aghadiâ€™ (front) and the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI and other smaller parties are known by the term â€˜Mahayutiâ€™ (the grand alliance).
The two parties would also discuss whether they would contest the civic body polls with the Shiv Sena if the three parties join hands to form the government in the state.
Polls to several civic bodies, including the Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation, are to be held in 2022.
A meeting with the Congress scheduled on Tuesday to further discuss the possibility of government formation in Maharashtra was called off due to pre-occupation of Congress leaders with Indira Gandhiâ€™s birth anniversary events.
Congress leaders had requested that the meeting be postponed to Wednesday.
The two sides have deputed leaders for holding talks on a possible alliance. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Accordingly Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel and Congress general secretary K C Venugopal besides some state leaders and Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil of the NCP were to meet to explore the possibility of an alliance with the Shiv Sena in the state.
NCP President Sharad Pawar had a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday. Pawar said if the NCP-Congress have to take a view on government formation, they have to first discuss it between themselves.
In the October 21 Maharashtra polls, the BJP-Sena saffron alliance secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member assembly. The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats respectively.
However, failing to evolve a consensus over the chief ministerâ€™s post, the two saffron parties parted ways, with the Sena exploring the possibility of tying up with the Congress-NCP.