The Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday indicated that it was willing to set aside the contentious issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin.
"The NCP can set aside contentious issues to forge a front of secular parties to take on the communal forces for the forthcoming assembly and Lok Sabha polls," NCP president Sharad Pawar said at a news conference at the end of a two-day brainstorming session of his party in Mumbai.
"The NCP leadership has held preliminary talks with [Maharashtra] Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in this regard and it is a positive step," Pawar said.
Pawar, however, did not say who would succeed former Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal, who quit after his party workers attacked a media office in Mumbai.
"We have elected the legislature party leader and his name will be communicated to the chief minister and it is the latter's prerogative to announce the name," Pawar said.