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Ajit Pawar meets Raj Thackeray

PTI mumbai
Updated: 13-02-2019 23:11 IST
Ajit Pawar meets Raj Thackeray

A day after he advocated a tie-up with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for the Lok Sabha elections, NCP leader Ajit Pawar Wednesday met MNS chief Raj Thackeray here. Pawar later told reporters that the decision on alliance with the MNS would be taken by the "senior leadership" of the NCP and Congress.

The meeting between Pawar and the MNS chief, who have in the past engaged in verbal sparring, took place in Dadar in central Mumbai. The meeting lasted for about one and a half hours, NCP sources said.

Ajit Pawar had Tuesday pitched for an alliance with the MNS to ensure there is no division of votes as opposition parties take on the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine. He said Wednesday that he met Raj Thackeray as he wanted all anti-BJP parties to come together.

However, he was quick to add that the decision on alliance with the MNS will be taken by the senior leadership of the Congress and NCP. The issue of forging alliance with the MNS would be discussed at the meeting of NCP leaders Thursday, Pawar said.

According to sources in the NCP, the party is willing to leave the Kalyan seat from its quota for the MNS. A Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity that there were differences over inclusion of MNS in the alliance between the Congress and NCP.

"Though the party (MNS) has tried to make amends (for its past anti-migrant stand) by organising gatherings of the North Indian community, there are misgivings," he said. The Congress and NCP are at present busy stitching together a coalition of opposition parties in Maharashtra, which sends 48 MPs to the Lok Sabha, the second highest after Uttar Pradesh's 80. PTI ENM MR KRK KRK KRK.