New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament, amid the ongoing lockdown over government formation in Maharashtra.
The meeting, which lasted for 45 minutes, was over the issue of Maharashtra farmers, but came just two days after the Prime Minister praised the NCP for its conduct in the Rajya Sabha, triggering speculations about a possible BJP-NCP coalition government in Maharashtra.
Pawar extended an invitation to PM Modi to attend the opening of a sugar mill on November 30.
The NCP chief, also a former Maharashtra Chief Minister himself, also submitted a letter to the Prime Minister, in which he said, “I’ve collected data on crop damage from 2 districts, but damage because of excessive rains extends to rest of Maharashtra, including Marathwada and Vidarbha. I’m collecting details and information regarding the same, which should be sent to you at the earliest.”
“Due to the prevalence of Presidential Rule in the state, your urgent intervention is highly necessitated. I shall be grateful, if you take immediate steps to initiate massive relief measures and ameliorate the miseries of the distressed farmers,” the NCP chief further wrote in his letter.
Maharashtra, which voted on October 21, is currently without a government despite the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance winning 161 seats, 16 more than the majority mark of 145 in the 288-seat Maharashtra Assembly. However, the BJP refused to accept the Sena’s demand to implement the 50-50 formula, which would have seen the two parties sharing the Chief Minister’s chair for 2.5 years each.
The snub prompted the Sena to enter negotiations with the NCP and the Congress and sever ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). According to reports, one formula that is in the works, would see Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister for the full five-year term with a deputy each from the NCP and the Congress, which will also get the Speaker’s post.
However, after meeting interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday, Pawar said that while the current political situation in Maharashtra was discussed, there were no talks over government formation in the state.