New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar at the latter’s residence in Delhi. Reports said the meeting was about a possible merger of the parties.
The meeting comes at a time that there is uncertainty over who will head the grand old party as Rahul has been adamant that he would quit as the chief.
Taking responsibility for the Congress rout, Rahul had offered to step down from the president’s post. He had offered to resign at the Congress Working Committee meeting in Delhi last week but his offer was unanimously rejected.
In the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election, the Congress bagged 52 seats while NCP won five. Congress is two short to stake the claim for the post of Leader of Opposition in Parliament as a party needs at least 10 per cent of Lok Sabha seats to be eligible for the post. So the minimum seats required for the same is 54.
Interestingly, NCP was formed in 1999 when Sharad Pawar, PA Sangma, and Tariq Anwar broke away after questioning Sonia Gandhi’s right to lead the party despite her foreign origin. The trio was expelled from the Congress. However, the NCP has been part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance which is headed by Sonia.