Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde
Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde

Pune: Senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday said his party and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will "come together in the future".

The former Union minister said he and NCP president Sharad Pawar were raised under the same tree (in the Congress), though the Maratha strongman does not openly speak about it.

"Even if the Congress and NCP are two different parties, but today I would like to tell you that in the future we will come closer to each other... The NCP and Congress will come together because now they are also tired and we are also tired," he said, without elaborating.

Shinde was speaking at a public meeting in his home district Solapur in western Maharashtra. Talking about himself and Pawar, Shinde said he is s just eight-and-a-half months younger to the NCP leader.

Both leaders are in their late 70s.

"We were raised under one tree...our bringing up took place in the lap of one mother (the Congress) and we came forward under the leadership of Indira Gandhi and Yashwantrao Chavan.

"That is why today we have regrets in our hearts and he, too, has the same feeling... the only difference is that he (Pawar) is not expressive about it but when time will come, he will speak about it," he added.

Pawar left the Congress to establish the NCP in May 1999 along with his colleagues P A Sangma and Tariq Anwar.

The Congress and the NCP later joined hands to rule Maharashtra for 15 years (1999-2014). They were also allies in the Congress-led ruling coalition UPA 1 and 2 at the Centre (2004-2014).

The two parties have entered into a seat-sharing arrangement for the October 21 assembly polls in Maharashtra.

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