NEW DELHI: A meeting between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and BSP supremo Mayawati here meant to "break ice" has triggered speculation of a possible alliance between the two parties.
Yesterday, Pawar had met Mayawati and her close aide Satish Chandra Misra here.
"Had a good meeting with Kumari Mayawati & Satish Chandra Mishra, MP Rajya Sabha," Pawar tweeted.
Though the BSP preferred to maintain silence, a senior leader said the aim of the nearly hour-long meet was to "break ice".
On an earlier occasion, Mayawati had turned down NCP's proposal to have a tie-up in Maharashtra.
This time things were different and the meeting was positive as both the parties are gearing up for 2019 polls to take on the BJP, sources said.
The Ramdas Athawale led-Republican Party of India (RPI), which for long had allied with the Congress-NCP and has a good presence among the Dalit community in Maharashtra, is now with the BJP.
The BSP has pockets of influence in Maharashtra, especially in the Vidarbha region while the NCP has MLAs in more than two states, besides Maharashtra -- its core state -- and six Lok Sabha MPs (four from Maharashtra and one from the Lakshadweep Islands and Bihar each).
An alliance with the BSP will help bolster its prospects, sources said.
The Mayawati-led party is also looking for regional alliances in other states in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
It already has an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka and with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana.