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Cong agrees with NCP, allies get bigger say in UPA

Cong agrees with NCP, allies get bigger say in UPA
After keeping the political temperature high in the past week, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) finally agreed to a truce with the Congress on Wednesday evening. The NCP chief and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and the heavy industries minister Praful Patel met the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seal the truce at Singh's residence.

The NCP and the Congress have agreed to set up a coordination committee. Reading out from a statement signed by Gandhi and Singh after the meet, Patel said, 'After deliberations, it was decided to set up an effective coordination mechanism very soon to ensure cohesive functioning of the UPA. This mechanism will ensure that UPA allies meet at least once a month to discuss policy and other issues.'

Patel added that a similar coordination committee would be established in Mumbai very soon, which would be jointly governed by the NCP and the Congress. 'It was decided to activate the coordination machinery very soon to ensure the smooth functioning of the Congress-NCP coalition government in Maharashtra,' he said.

The Congress endorsed the arrangement. The party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said, 'The UPA chairperson, the PM, Patel and Pawar met today. There were talks, after which it was decided that for the functioning of the UPA, there should be an effective mechanism. In which decisions can be reached by mutual consultation. This mechanism will meet once a month at least. There was also a discussion regarding Maharashtra, that this mechanism would also strengthening the government there as well.'
Tania Ameer

Tania Ameer

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