Maharastra, Nov 11, 2019: A meeting of top leaders of Congress is underway at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi to decide on whether to extend support to Shiv Sena to form a government in Maharashtra. Sources said Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray phoned Sonia Gandhi before the meeting. There have been hectic parleys in Maharashtra a day after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked Sena to form a government, Hindustan Times reported.
Congress core committee leaders had met at 10 Janpath, Sonia Gandhi’s residence, in the morning but were unable to come to a conclusion. The party then summoned senior leaders in Maharashtra for a discussion in the evening.
Congress’s ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also had a meeting of its leadership in Mumbai. Addressing the media after the meet, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said they will wait for Congress to take a stand.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at a hotel in south Mumbai. The leaders are believed to have discussed about government formation during the 40-minute meeting at Taj Lands End.
Shiv Sena had pulled out its lone minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre on Monday morning. The minister, Arvind Sawant, said it wouldn’t have been morally right for him to continue.
NCP had said it will support Sena if it quits the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and finalises a common minimum programme
Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Monday blamed the BJP’s “arrogance” for the current political situation and said there was no point continuing the alliance if it doesn’t keep it’s promise of sharing the chief minister’s post.
Prepoll allies BJP and Sena have been bickering since the Maharashtra election results were announced on October 24. Sena has said they had agreed to sharing the chief minister’s post which BJP denies.
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had on Saturday asked the BJP to indicate its “willingness and ability” to form a government as the single-largest party. On Sunday, BJP gave up on its plans to form the government and said Sena had “insulted the mandate” given by the people
The governor then invited Sena to form a government by 7.30 pm on Monday. The BJP wished its oldest ally “good luck” if it wanted to form a government with Congress and NCP.
The BJP emerged as the single largest party after the state polls winning 105 seats. The Sena won 56 seats, Congress got 44 seats and NCP 54. A party or an alliance requires 145 seats for a majority in the 288-member assembly.