Sharad Pawar rules out NCP-Congress merger


New Delhi, June 02: NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has dismissed speculations of his party's merger with Congress by terming these as mere rumours.

Addresing the party workers at the meet convened to discuss the Lok Sabha debacle, Pawar said "These (speculations of NCP merging with the Congress) are rumours."

"The reports of the merger of our party with the Congress were shocking for us as there was not discussion on these lines either in Delhi or in Mumbai...I want to clarify here that there are no such talk or plans of any merger with any party. We are a prime party in the state with independent entity and will remain to be so," he said.

Rahul Gandhi meets Sharad Pawar in Delhi

Ajit Pawar, NCP's state legislative party leader, said: "There is no question of a merger. The NCP will retain its independent identity... The Opposition is trying to spread a canard. Therefore, everyone (in the party) should say that there is no truth in it."

The rumours started on Thursday following a meeting of Pawar and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Reports had suggested that Pawar gave the offer to the Congress for the Opposition benches to claim the post of Leader of Opposition.

The strength of Congress is 52 in the 543-member Lok Sabha and to stake claim for the post of Leader of Opposition it needed 55 MPs.

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