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The Battle for Maharashtra

Maharashtra CM: Gandhi meets Congress leaders

October 23, 2004 14:22 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday held consultations with Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Arjun Singh ahead of the talks with the Nationalist Congress Party over who will hold the post of chief minister in Maharasthra.

Mukherjee, Congress' chief negotiator on the issue, arrived in the capital from Kolkata and drove to Gandhi's 10, Janpath residence for the talks. Azad and Singh also reached there later.

NCP and Congress leaders are likely to meet in the evening to sort out the vexed issue.

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The issue came to the fore when the NCP emerged as the single largest party in the state and demanded the top post from alliance partner Congress.

The NCP won 71 seats in the just-concluded elections while Congress got 69. Congress on the other hand claimed the chief ministership citing that it had allotted seats to the Communist Party of India-Marxist, which won three seats.

However, the Congress now has 68 MLAs in the assembly following the death of newly elected Nagpur South legislator Govindrao Wanjari on Sunday.

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