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NCP-Cong in 'complete unanimity'; now talks with Sena to finalise architecture of alliance


New Delhi, Nov 21: Maharashtra on Thursday appeared headed for a new government with Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan asserting that his party and the NCP have "complete unanimity" on all issues concerning government formation in the state and they will now hold talks with the Shiv Sena to "finalise the architecture of the alliance".

NCP-Cong in complete unanimity; now talks with Sena to finalise architecture of alliance

The discussions will now move to Mumbai where the Congress and NCP will hold deliberations with their other pre-poll allies and then with the Shiv Sena, the former Maharashtra chief minister told reporters after another round of talks between senior leaders of his party and the Congress.

The Congress and NCP had fought against the Sena in the assembly polls. The national capital this week saw marathon meetings between the Congress and the NCP, including their respective president Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar, to work out a suitable formula and ideological harmony before forging an alliance with the Sena, a party whose core Hindutva ideology is poles apart from the duo's.

Top Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge, its state leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat and Naseem Khan, and NCP leaders Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik were part of the Thursday's meeting. "The Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress have completed discussions on all issues. There is complete unanimity on all issues," Chavan told reporters.

"Decision will be taken tomorrow on what the architecture of the alliance will be. The final decision will be announced in Mumbai," he said, adding that the announcement of the Common Minimum Programme will clarify all the details of the new government. He further said that only after all the issues are discussed and cleared by the three parties, the alliance will move towards staking claim to form the government.

When asked whether the chief minister's post will be rotational and what will be the seat sharing formula, Chavan said, "All discussions in public domain is purely speculative".

Earlier in the day, the Congress and the NCP held separate meetings with its top central and state leaders. They have also been in touch with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. In one of the meetings, the Congress Working Committee after a detailed deliberation on the political situation in Maharashtra gave its approval to join hands with the Sena in the state, party sources told PTI.

After the meeting, which was chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, Congress sources said the finer details on the government formation in Maharashtra is expected by Friday. On Wednesday, the Congress-NCP alliance gave its most categorical indication about joining hands with arch rival Shiv Sena, with former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan expressing confidence of forming a "stable" government soon in the state after a marathon meeting of senior leaders of the two parties.

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