M A I N   N E W S

Congress, NCP in touch with rebels

Mumbai, October 15
With the counting of votes for the Maharashtra Assembly beginning tomorrow, hectic parleys have begun in the ruling Congress-NCP coalition on the post-poll scenario in the event of the results throwing up a “fractured mandate”.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar went into a huddle at his “Silver Oak” residence with Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, MPCC President Prabha Rau, AICC General Secretary Margaret Alva and senior leaders from both parties to deliberate on the possibility of roping in Independents, especially winning rebel candidates as well as smaller “secular” parties.

The meeting assumes significance in the wake of Maharashtra Governor Mohammed Fazal’s letters to all political parties to furnish details about their alliances prior to the elections and whether they would continue after the poll.

Talking to mediapersons after the two-hour meeting, Ms Rau said the leaders had discussed and analysed district-wise polling percentage. She said Independents were in touch with the leadership of both parties.

Mr Bhujbal, who spoke to the media separately, also said that the two parties were in contact with rebels. “We are confident of getting a clear majority. Inclusion of these Independents and other smaller parties would only make our government stronger,” he said.

Mr Bhujbal said prospective winning rebels would not be inducted in the party, but “if they are willing to support the Congress-NCP in government formation, they are welcome because they are naturally inclined towards the Congress-NCP.”

Officials said the mandate would be known by tomorrow afternoon and the trends by noon. — UNI


CPM questions Governor’s action

New Delhi, October 15
Taking strong exception to Maharashtra Governor Mohammad Fazal’s “unprecendented action” of seeking political parties to submit pre-poll alliance details before counting of votes, the CPM today urged the President to take up the matter. —TNS


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