Putting an end to the clash between the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress agreed to the demands of the NCP for the formation of a coordination committee.
A joint statement that was issued by both parties said “the mechanism would ensure that the UPA allies meet at least once a month to discuss policy and other issues.”
It is now expected that this mechansim representing Congress, TMC, DMK, NCP, RLD and National Conference would be constituted, possibly before Aug 7.
Another coordination panel will be set up for Maharashtra where the NCP is a major stakeholder. The Congress-NCP coordination panel for Maharashtra will include the chief minister, deputy chief minister, two nominees of NCP, including Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, and a Congress general secretary to be nominated by Gandhi.
However, nothing has been said on the other demands that the NCP had made like a share in the appointment of the governors, and the deputy chairman Rajya Sabha’s post.
On Friday, NCP had put the UPA on notice, with Pawar and his colleague Praful Patel suggesting they will resign from the Cabinet due to the treatment being offered to the party by the Congress. The NCP had even gone to the extent of giving a deadline of Thursday to the Congress for meeting with their demands. However, the matter was resolved at a meeting on Wednesday evening itself.
The demands by the NCP include a coordination committee for UPA coalition and better treatment of allies.
Earlier, Patel had strongly refuted speculation that the NCP was putting the Congress in a spot with an eye for No 2 slot for Pawar in the Cabinet.
While Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had earlier made a similar demand, Congress had not obliged. But the fact that only the NCP, that has just 9 MPs as compared to 19 of the TMC and 18 of the DMK, was consulted before formal announcement of the coordination mechanism confirmed that Pawar had been able to have his way on this issue.
The NCP-Congress stand-off has Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at its centre. Chavan has reportedly initiated probe into scams allegedly involving certain NCP leaders including NCP chief Sharad Pawar's nephew, Ajit Pawar.