M A I N   N E W S

Congress, NCP to resume talks today

New Delhi, October 22
After a three-day break, the Congress and the NCP will be resuming talks tomorrow to resolve the nearly week-long deadlock over the issue of Maharashtra Chief Minister amid no signs of either side giving up the claim to head the new government.

A day ahead of the talks, the NCP alleged that the failure of the Congress to come up with any “concrete proposal” had resulted in the stalemate.

“We hope that tomorrow and day after, through negotiations, we will be able to reach a settlement”, NCP general secretary D P Tripathi said, indicating that his party was the rightful claimant for the post as the NCP, its allies and supporting Independents were the single largest group with a strength of 84 MLAs.

Mr Tripathi, who is also NCP spokesman, said while his party had given two proposals, the Congress had not given any concrete proposal and “that is why there is no forward movement”.

He frowned upon the Congress move to “parade” Independent MLAs in its support, saying such things won’t help in resolving the stalemate. The comment was an apparent reaction to 10 Independent MLAs meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in the past two days.

While there has been no official word from the Congress about the talks, party sources said its stand remained unchanged on the chief ministership.

Mr Tripathi reiterated his party’s threat that the NCP was ready to provide outside support to the Congress for full five years if it was denied the chief ministership.

He said his party was ready to give such a letter to the state Governor. — PTI

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