New Delhi: The Shiv Sena in Maharashtra witnessed a huge knock-back on Monday as Governor BS Koshyari rejected its plea for an extension to get letters from its political rivals Congress and NCP, paving way for the Sharad Pawar-led party to prove majority and stake claim.
A game of ‘passing the parcel’ deepens the ongoing turmoil in Maharashtra as between from BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP, now, for an invitation to stake claim for government formation. Moments after an Aaditya Thackeray-led delegation met with the Governor, Koshyari gave a call to NCP leader Ajit Pawar and invited the party to form Maharashtra Government.
The ball is in Sharad Pawar-led NCP’s court, as the Governor rejected Sena’s extension plea.
The Governor has asked the leader of elected members of the third-largest party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Ajit Pawar, to convey its willingness and ability to form the government and prove numbers by 8:30 PM tomorrow, that is, November 12.
This comes after the NCP leader received a call from Koshyari to meet him at Raj Bhavan. Ajit Pawar, along with Jayant Patil, Dilip Valse Patil, Chhagan Bhujbal and Dhananjay Munde met with the Governor and sought time to talk with their allies.
Notably, party chief Sharad Pawar met with Uddhav Thackeray at a hotel today afternoon prior to Thackeray’s seven-minute phone call with Sonia Gandhi.
Setback for Shiv Sena
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray put aside differing party ideologies and went ahead seeking support from the Congress and NCP. However, even after two crucial meetings, and a telephonic conversation with Sonia Gandhi, Congress remained non-committal, stalling Sena’s decision to claim governance.
Reportedly, in their conversation over the phone call, Sonia Gandhi had confirmed a Congress backing to Sena and said that she would get back after holding talks with party MLAs. However, Sena failed to craft a coalition with the two parties, clearing the route for the NCP.
What’s in for Congress?
Currently, Congress is deliberating over its support for the Sena as well as for NCP. Despite, party chief Sonia Gandhi’s backing, the Congress maintained a non-committal position. Congress senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge has clarified that it has not confirmed on supporting Shiv Sena as of now. He said that the party will further consult the NCP and land upon a decision.
Meanwhile, the party core group will hold a meeting again tomorrow at interim party president Sonia Gandhi’s residence, over Maharashtra’s political situation.
Where is BJP?
Amid the political turmoil and uncertainty that could potentially lead to the President’s rule in Maharashtra, the BJP has now taken a ‘wait and watch’ stand over the situation.
“The political situation in the state was discussed in the meeting. On its basis, BJP is taking the stand of wait and watch,” said BJP state leader Sudhir Mungantiwar after NCP was invited for forming the state government.
On Saturday, the BJP refused to stake claim to form government despite being the single-largest party in Maharashtra further extending the fight for the CM’s post.
Notably, prior to seeking Congress and NCP support this morning, Sena leader Arvind Sawant announced his decision to step down as Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. Sawant’s resignation was targetted at severing ties with its oldest ally, the BJP.