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It's a verdict for Sonia as PM: Shinde

May 13, 2004 17:23 IST

Expressing satisfaction over the performance of Congress-NCP alliance in Lok Sabha polls in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Thursday that the voters have signalled their acceptance of Sonia Gandhi's leadership and favoured peace and secularism.

"The Congress and NCP had bagged 16 seats in 1999 polls and today's results are comparatively better," he told reporters.

The drought was one of the reasons for Congress-NCP alliance to bag less seats than expected, he said, adding the analysis of the results will be jointly done by the alliance.

To a query, the chief minister said there would be no early assembly polls in the state.

On the loss of his wife Ujwala Shinde from Solapur, he said it takes time to regain a seat and the Congress was at least successful in reducing the margin of victory of the BJP candidate from 125,000 to around 5,000.

Shinde also said, "Gandhi is our leader and the party wants her to be the prime minister, but the leadership issue will be decided in consultation with the alliance partners."

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