Maha crisis: Cong sends Ahmed Patel, Kharge, Venugopal to meet Pawar

Published: Nov 12, 2019, 4:25 pm IST

New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) With the continuing crisis over formation of government in Maharashtra, 19 days after the election results, the Congress on Tuesday deputed its three senior leaders to hold further talks with NCP, which was invited by the Governor to form the government.

According to party general secretary in-charge of organisation, KC Venugopal, Congress president Sonia Gandhi authorised him along with senior leader Ahmed Patel and Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge to hold further talks with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Earlier in the day,  Gandhi spoke to  Pawar over telephone on the issue of formation of government in Maharashtra.

“Congress president Sonia Gandhi spoke to Sharad Pawar today morning and deputed Ahamed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and myself for holding further discussions with Pawar. We three are going to Mumbai now and will meet Pawar at the earliest’, tweeted  Venugopal.

Gandhi had also held discussion with senior leaders like AK Antony, Mr Patel and Venugopal at her residence, in the morning.

On Monday, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited NCP to form the government, after the Shiv Sena failed to produce the numbers before the Governor.

Koshyari had directed the NCP to get back to him by 2030 hrs today.

It was expected that the Congress would give outside support to form a Shiv Sena-NCP government in the state, after the BJP opted out from forming the government, due to lack of numbers as its ally Sena demanded to share the Chief Minister post.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had also called  Gandhi and sought support to form the government.

The Congress on Monday, however, did not announce the support and had said that it will held further talk with  Pawar, which prompted the Sena to tell the Governor that it does not have numbers.

According to party sources,  Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi have apprehensions on the issue of supporting Sena, while a section of senior leaders along with its Maharashtra leaders are arguing for the alliance with a Sena-NCP government.