NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and senior BJP leaders late on Wednesday night amid a tussle over the allocation of portfolios to the latest entrant in the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP coalition in Maharashtra.
The stand-off over portfolios has persisted since the surprise swearing-in of Ajit Pawar and eight other NCP legislators as ministers in the Maharashtra government on July 2 after a split in the Sharad Pawar-led outfit.
Pawar's nephew Ajit and senior leaders Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbal, and Sunil Tatkare walked out with a major chunk of MLAs and MLCs of the NCP, staking claim to the name and election symbol of the party.
Patel insisted that the meeting with Shah and other BJP leaders was a "courtesy call" as he and Ajit Pawar had not met them formally since joining the ruling alliance in Maharashtra. NCP has been insisting on the crucial finance and water resources portfolios, which the Shiv Sena is learnt to have opposed strongly.
Patel said there would be some issues in the allocation of portfolios as the same had been distributed by the BJP and Shiv Sena when they formed the government last year.
"Now each of them will have to give up some portfolios to accommodate us," he told reporters on Wednesday night.