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Pawar open to poll pact with NDA
January 02, 2004 19:22 IST
Last Updated: January 02, 2004 19:26 IST
A day after Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said he is not averse to Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party joining the National Democratic Alliance, the latter said he is open to a poll partnership with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition.
However, he said he will not dump his trusted aide and former Maharashtra chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal to forge this partnership, a condition put forth by Thackeray.
Thackeray and Bhujbal haven't seen eye to eye ever since the latter split the Sena in early 90s and joined the Congress. He subsequently left the Congress when Pawar formed the NCP.
"No political party is untouchable. We have three options before us -- to have an electoral alliance with the Congress, to have an alliance with the Left and other parties and the third one is to join the National Democratic Alliance," Pawar told a press conference in Pune.
"Since there are clear indications of advancing of the Lok Sabha elections, the NCP has convened a meeting to deliberate on political issues and chalk out its electoral strategy," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Tuesday had held a closed-door meeting with Thackeray wherein the issue of allowing the NCP into the NDA fold was discussed.
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