Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will meet on Sunday to decide the next course of action in Maharashtra where the two alliance partners have decided to support Shiv Sena in forming government in the state.
“Congress alone can't decide things. NCP chief Sharad Pawar and AICC president Sonia Gandhi will sit together on 17 November to discuss the next course of action. They will decide how to solve this problem. After that only the other actions will follow,” Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was quoted as saying by ANI.
The first-ever Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra appears to be taking shape as they have agreed upon a common minimum program. Sharad Pawar has even expressed confidence that the government of the three parties will last a full term.
Pawar also said that the Sena, which fell out with the BJP over the chief minister's post, will lead the alliance.
A delegation of Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena is set to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday, but the three parties maintained that it was for seeking immediate aid for rain-affected farmers, and was not about government formation.
The three-party coalition, a new experiment in Maharashtra involving outfits with diverse ideologies, will be led by the Sena, leaders in the Uddhav Thackeray-party and the NCP said, marking progress in power-sharing negotiations.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government will be formed, and it will complete a five-year term as he ruled out the possibility of mid-term polls in the state which is currently under President's rule.
"There is no possibility of mid-term polls. This government will be formed and it will complete five years. We all will ensure this government runs for five years," the NCP chief said in Nagpur.
The BJP, meanwhile, claimed that it would form the government, without disclosing how it would cobble up the majority figure of 145 in the 288-member house.
Addressing a press conference, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, "BJP is the single largest party, and with the support of Independents our tally reaches 119. With this tally, BJP will form the government."