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The Battle for Maharashtra

Maharashtra deadlock continues

October 25, 2004 22:54 IST

The nine-day old deadlock over the post of Maharashtra chief minister continued with the Nationalist Congress Party, which deferred a decision on the Congress offer, driving a hard bargain in its quest for the top post.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting of the party's national office bearers on Tuesday to take stock of the situation after discussing the issue with senior colleagues on Monday evening.

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The development followed a meeting in Mumbai of the state legislature party of the NCP, which was 'not very happy' with the Congress offer of two additional ministerial berths and two more portfolios for the party in lieu of the top post. The meeting authorised Pawar to decide on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Congress legislature party met in Mumbai and authorised party chief Sonia Gandhi to nominate its leader. The meeting took place hours after caretaker Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde met Gandhi in Delhi.

Briefing reporters after Pawar held parleys with senior NCP leaders, Union Minister Praful Patel denied reports that the NCP had made any counter-proposals.

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