Sonia, top Cong leaders consider Maharashtra options; Pawar meets NCP MLAs

A meeting of the Congress working committee is underway on Monday morning to decide on whether to support the Shiv Sena in forming the government in Maharashtra, sources said.

Top Congress leaders are discussing the issue at a crucial meeting of the working committee chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, according to the sources. The CWC is the highest decision-making body of the Congress.

Hectic deliberations have started since Sunday over the Congress' participation in government formation in Maharashtra after the Shiv Sena was invited by the governor to form the government.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday said if the BJP was not willing to fulfil its promise of sharing the chief minister's post in Maharashtra, there was no point in continuing the alliance.

Reaching out to the opposition parties, Raut said the Congress and the NCP should bury their internal differences to come up with a 'common minimum programme' in the interest of Maharashtra.

Sena leader Arvind Sawant, the lone party minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, on Monday announced his decision to quit the NDA government at the Centre.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said his party will take a decision pertaining to government formation in Maharashtra only after holding discussions with Congress.

Asked about Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant's resignation as Union Minister, Pawar told media here, "I have not had a word with anyone regarding anyone's resignation. We will have a word with Congress today. Whatever decision is to be taken will be taken only after discussions with Congress."

Pawar is a chairing party's core group meeting here to discuss the current political situation in the state after BJP despite being the single largest party expressed its inability to form the government owing to its differences with ally Shiv Sena.

Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil are also present in the meeting.

"In the meeting we will discuss the future course of action. We had said that first Shiv Sena should split from NDA... Discussion will be held on what agenda government will be formed," NCP leader Nawab Malik said.

NCP has 54 MLAs while its alliance partner Congress bagged 44 seats in Assembly polls.

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