MUMBAI: On Thursday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar set to rest speculation about the party’s possible merger with Congress, saying there was no substance in such talk. The NCP chief said that he and Gandhi discussed the Lok Sabha election results, the drought and imminent Assembly polls in Maharashtra during their meeting. “At no stage was there any discussion on NCP’s merger with Congress,” The Times of India quoted Pawar as saying. “These are all rumours.”
“Congress President Mr. @RahulGandhi met up with me today at my residence in Delhi. We discussed matters pertaining to the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha Elections and the drought situation in Maharashtra,” Pawar posted on Twitter.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik too said there was no substance in the reports. “Prima facie, it appears that an attempt is being made to confuse NCP and Congress activists. I am sure NCP activists will not succumb to such rumours,” Malik told TOI.
Rahul also met Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and discussed the crisis that has hit the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state. Sources said Rahul held a separate meeting with former PM Manmohan Singh.
Gandhi has reportedly been adamant on resigning from his post following the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. His party was able to secure only 52 of the 542 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections – eight seats more than it won in 2014. The BJP won 303 out of 542 seats to get a second straight term in power.