CWC discusses Maharashtra situation, final decision to be announced Friday

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told the media after a meeting at party chief Sonia Gandhi's 10 Janpath residence that that the CWC was briefed on the discussion between NCP and Congress on Wednesday.

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Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Congress Working Committee meeting
NEW DELHI: The Congress Working Committee on Thursday granted in-principle approval to the party to form government in Maharashtra along with the NCP and the Shiv Sena, sources said.

In a meeting chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence here, the party's highest decision-making body also deliberated on the Maharashtra political scenario, they said.

After the meeting, Congress general secretary K C Venugopal told the media that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) was briefed about the party's discussions with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday.


Congress sources said the final decision on the government formation in Maharashtra is expected by Friday.

"The CWC has broadly agreed to go ahead with government formation with the Shiv Sena and the NCP," the source said.

"Another meeting between the Congress and the NCP will be held on Thursday and a final meeting with Shiv Sena will take place on Friday in Mumbai. The decision on government formation in Maharashtra will be announced in Mumbai on Friday," the source said.
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Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who will meet NCP president Sharad Pawar later in the day, also exuded confidence that the two parties, along with the Congress, will arrive at a decision on government formation in a day or two.

He said a new government in Maharashtra should be in place before December.

He also told reporters that there are no plans of any meeting between Gandhi and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray this week.

Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, after the marathon meeting between senior Congress and NCP leaders on Wednesday, had expressed confidence about the alliance forming a "stable" government soon in the state.
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While the Congress leader hoped that political uncertainty in Maharashtra will end soon, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik was unambiguous about the need to join hands with the Sena, asserting that a government cannot be formed in the state without the three parties coming together.

This was the most emphatic public statement by the Congress-NCP combine so far about its intent to join hands with the Sena to form a government.
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A senior NCP leader had said on Wednesday that the government is likely to be formed before the first phase of the Jharkhand Assembly polls scheduled on November 30.

NCP sources said the chief minister's post is most likely to be on a rotational basis, with the first half to be given to the Shiv Sena and the latter to the NCP.

The Congress is likely to have the deputy chief minister's post for the full five-year term, they said.

The CWC on Thursday, the sources said, also discussed the issue of electoral bonds and decided that the Narendra Modi government will be cornered over it both inside Parliament and outside.
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