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Pawar rules out merger with Congress

August 19, 2009 14:02 IST
Ahead of assembly polls in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of merger with Congress, terming as "cheap publicity" statements in this regard made by that party.

"I can't understand why these days they are raising these questions, why they are not appealing to other parties to merge? Should I say that the Congress should merge with my party?" he asked.

He was reacting to recent statements of All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in-charge of Maharashtra, and Union Minister and Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh that NCP should consider merging with their party.

Pawar said, "These are all cheap public statements" and he did not want to say anything beyond that. "They should not say like that. One can understand in public life, political leaders do discuss certain things but there are some of our friends in Congress, I think, who prefer to discuss major issues publicly and they want to get some publicity. Beyond that we do not give any importance to this type of question," he told CNN-IBN.

On the issue of seat-sharing in the Maharashtra polls, Pawar said, "When the state is facing drought, (then), in such a situation, we had to work together and we will be happy if we go together.

"Every political party has to take their own decisions. About ten years back we contested separately. Congress contested separately but ultimately Congress had to come to us also to form the government," the NCP leader said.

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