Sonia Gandhi meets Sharad Pawar to discuss seat-sharing deal

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Sonia Gandhi.

Sonia Gandhi’s anticipated meeting with Jyotiraditya Scindia doesn’t take place

Congress president Sonia Gandhi met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday to discuss the seat-sharing arrangement for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra.

But the other anticipated meeting between Ms. Gandhi and former Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, regarding choosing a new party chief for Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh (MP) didn’t take place.

Mr. Scindia, who has been made the chairman of the screening committee to choose candidates for the Maharashtra elections, however presided over a meeting to shortlist nominees.

The Congress and the NCP have already decided to fight the elections under a coalition.

Amid defections of the NCP leaders to the BJP, Mr. Pawar met the Congress chief to finalise a broad arrangement for the polls likely to held in October-November.

Sources claimed that they discussed consolidating the anti BJP-Shiv Sena forces and could mull over including Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Left parties in its alliance. The talk of the MNS being part of the anti-BJP alliance had gained ground when the MNS chief had called on Ms. Gandhi at her residence in July.

However, State level Congress leaders are believed to have expressed reservations over the MNS and a final decision on a grand alliance would be taken after consultations with them.

Sources said detailed discussions over specific seats would continue for the next few days before a final tie-up plan was made public.

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