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NCP leader P A Sangma meets Advani

January 06, 2004 14:06 IST

Nationalist Congress Party leader P A Sangma on Tuesday met Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani to discuss a tie-up between his party and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.

The exercise to bring in NCP into the ruling alliance had begun last week with Advani discussing the issue with Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in Mumbai.

The Sena chief, BJP sources said, had given a clear signal that he was not opposed to Sharad Pawar-led NCP becoming a member of the NDA though he expressed reservation over the presence of former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chaggan Bhujbal in the NCP.

Another indication of the possible alliance was given by BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan who said the issue of Bhujbal was not a major one and would not be an obstacle for the entry of NCP of which there was a '50-50 chance'.

Pawar too had stated in Pune recently that he was not averse to his party having an alliance with the NDA.

BJP sources said the alliance would strengthen the NDA in Maharashtra leaving Congress in a weak position.

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