Rahul meets Maharashtra Congress leaders

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Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi, May 3: With Lok Sabha elections not far away, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on May 2 took stock of the situation in Maharashtra where the party is in coalition with Sharad Pawar's NCP since 1999.

Gandhi held detailed deliberations with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, PCC chief Manikrao Thakre, as also newly appointed Mumbai Regional Congress Committee President Janardan Chandurkar.

NCP has already said that it would contest the next Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Congress. Pawar's party which has just nine members in the Lok Sabha has stuck by the UPA despite the parting of ways by the Trinamool Congress and the DMK.

Congress had struck it rich in Maharashtra in the last Lok Sabha elections winning as many as 17 seats due to division in the Opposition vote following emergence of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

"The discussions were regarding the party organisation. We discussed our performance in the last three months and deliberated on the plan for the next three months. There will be a review meeting after three months," Thakre told reporters after the two-hour meeting with Gandhi.

Besides Chavan, Thakre and Chandurkar, others present at the meeting were senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Janardan Dwivedi, Mohan Prakash and AICC secretaries Abdul Mannan and Ashok Tanwar.

Congress and NCP are ruling Maharashtra in an alliance since 1999 just a few months after Pawar parted ways with the Congress on the issue of foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi.

The two parties are sharing power at the Centre since May 2004 when Sonia Gandhi led UPA to power ousting the BJP-led NDA.

PTI

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