New Delhi: The week-long NCP-Congress crisis is finally over as both the parties agreed to set up coordination committees in Delhi and Mumbai to resolve differences. NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday evening in New Delhi to bring an end to the stand off.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Praful said that he and Pawar discussed all the issues with Manmohan and Sonia and that they have asked for a better coordination in the UPA. "We discussed need for setting up coordination mechanism in UPA with the PM and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. We need better coordination between NCP-Congress in Maharashtra."
Praful also asserted that the party is with the UPA till 2014 elections. "NCP is with the UPA till 2014 elections. NCP is an important part of the government and all NCP ministers will fulfill responsibilities as ministers," added Praful.
"UPA Coordination Committee in Delhi to be headed by Sonia Gandhi; similar committee to be set up in Maharashtra," said the NCP leader.
The rapprochement came after the Prime Minister promised that the government is ready to talk to the NCP on all issues.
The NCP had threatened to pull out of government, ostensibly upset that it was not being consulted on key policy decisions.
The coordination committee is more about the Maharashtra politics and the NCP wants that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to go slow against the NCP ministers.
Earlier in the day in Parliament, Sonia had said she won't answer any questions on the relationship between the two allies. NCP's Praful Patel, meanwhile, had insisted that reports of their issuing ultimatums and deadlines to the congress are wrong and that the NCP merely wants better co-ordination in Maharashtra and at the Centre.
The NCP had on Tuesday said that it will take its final decision on its ties with the Congress by Thursday morning. "If we don't attend Cabinet meet on Thursday, then there is no turning back," said party sources. However, the Cabinet meeting was later deferred in the wake of the meeting of the two sides.
The Maharashtra unit of the NCP had conveyed to its central leadership that if the Centre walks out, the state coalition would be put in jeopardy.
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.
Chavan has refused to back down and the Congress too has refused to give in to Pawar's demands of reining in the Chief Minister.