Monday , August 10 2020

Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE Updates: Ajit Pawar says no decision on alliance without Congress' consent; allies to hold final discussion today – Firstpost, Firstpost.com


                                                

Maharashtra govt formation LATEST Updates:Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that the party is in no hurry to form the government and will wait for the Congress’ decision. “We (Congress and NCP) contested together and we remain together,” he said.

Sources toldCNN-News 18that NCP wants both the Shiv Sena and Congress on board, instead of getting ‘ outside support ‘. If the three parties come together, the chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena. Senior Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were supposed to visit Mumbai to discuss modalities of support to the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra, have deferred their visit, Congress’ Manikrao Thakre toldPTI.

President Ram Nath Kovind accepted Arvind Sawant’s resignation on Tuesday. Prakash Javadekar has been given additional charge of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

Meanwhile, Congress’ Sanjay Nirupam blamed the BJP and Shiv Sena for bringing Maharashtra to the “doorstep of President’s Rule”. He said holding Congress responsible for the instability the state is witnessing currently is meaningless.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s core group will meet again today to discuss the political situation in Maharashtra as the route to Sena-NCP-Congress alliance no longer appears as smooth as the Maratha party was letting on until Monday morning. The Congress has said it is yet to make up its mind on government formation, and no alternate alliance is possible without the grand old party’s support.

Congress and Nationalist Congress Party will hold discussions over government today at 2 pm. The two parties are mulling to support a Shiv Sena-led government. However, they haven’t come to a decision yet.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, issuing a statement on inviting the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government in the state, said, “Despite the passage of 16 days, no single party or alliance of parties has come forward with requisite letter of support from alliance partners to form the government. “

BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Monday weighed in on the tumultous political situation in Maharashtra as the Shiv Sena and NCP made frenzied attempts on Monday to cobble together a coalition government. After the meeting of senior BJP leaders, Mungantiwar said, “The BJP core team meeting has concluded. The political situation in the state was discussed in the meeting. On its basis, BJP is taking the stand of ‘wait and watch’.”

A delegation of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has reached the Raj Bhavan for a meeting with Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after reports claimed that the authority had invited the Sharad Pawar-led party to stake claim to form the government.

“At 8. 30 pm, the Governor called us and asked me to come to meet him. Along with Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil and others, I am going to meet him. We have no idea as to why did he call us. Governor is an important person so we are going to meet him. “

NCP leader Ajit Pawar spoke to the media soon after reports claimed that the Maharashtra governor has invited the NCP to stake the claim to form the government in the state. Pawar said that a delegation of party leaders, including Chhagan Bhujbal, is going to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

He also said, “We dont know why we are being invited to form the government, I don’t know the agenda, we are going to talk to the governor now.”

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday kept the ball rolling in the political situation in Maharashtra and has invited the Sharad Pawar-led NCP to form govt after the Shiv Sena failed to prove the support from other parties, says report.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Monday issued a statement clarifying that the Shiv Sena’s demand for an extention of the deadline to stake claim to form the government was rejected because the party hadn’t been able to provide the “requisite letters of support “from the Congress and NCP.

“A delegation of the Shiv Sena met the Governor and expressed its willingness to form the government. However, they couldn’t submit the requisite letters of support.They submitted a letter requesting a three-day extension for submitting the letters of support. The Governor has expressed inability to give further extension, “the statement said.

Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray briefed the media on the party’s discussion with Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Monday. He said that within 24 hours of receiving a letter to stake claim to form the government from the governor, they had held talks with the Congress and NCP on possibility of extending support.

“We are tet to get a letter of support from Congress, NCP. But we have expressed our willingness to form the government in Maharashtra to the governor. We have sought two more days to stake the claim, and though the governor has rejected the request in person, it has not been rejected on paper, “he said.

With the CWC meeting chaired by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi having concluded, the party has decided to offer “outside support” to the Shiv Sena and NCP in forming the government in Maharashtra.

Sources were quoted by ANI as saying that th eCongress will support Shiv Sena and NCP, both the parties have been informed. “Final proceedings are being done,” the statement said.

Reports also quoted Congress leader KC Venugopal as saying that a letter of support to the Shiv Sena hasn’t been sent yet, even as Shiv Sena leaders are currently at the Raj Bhavan to meet the Maharashtra governor.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena is likely to ask Mahrashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari for an extention of 24 hours on the deadline given to stake claim to form the government. A multi-car convoy of Shiv Sena leaders has just reached the Raj Bhavan for a meeting with the governor, reports said.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Congress who is considering joining the Shiv Sena in a coalition government, has demanded that a senior member of the Shiv Sena be instituted as the chief minister.

The alliance between the Shiv Sena and BJP broke down in the days since the Assembly election results were declared, on the former’s demand that there should be a rotational chief minister’s post in the state.

The Congress, after a crucial CWC meeting chaired by interim president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, is likely to offer “outside support” to the Shiv Sena on forming the government in Maharashtra,India Todayreported.

The report said that Sonia is not in favor of being part of the government which is what ally NCP chief Sharad Pawar was batting for, but has indicated willingness to offer outside support to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi reportedly spoke to the party’s Maharashtra MLAs who are lodged in a Jaipur hotel amid the political crisis in the state. Sonia is also currently chairing a crucial CWC meeting to take a decision on whether the party should support the Shiv Sena in forming the government.

Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra, reports claimed that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray reached out to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi even as the CWC meeting is currently underway.

According to India Today, Thackeray has asked for Sonia’s support to form the government ahead of the party’s appointment with the state governor at 7. 30 pm. Thackeray on Monday also met Congress ally, NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has also reached interim party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi for the senior party leader’s meeting on the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra.

The party is expected to take a decision on whether to support Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena for its claim to form the government after the BJP, which won the most seats in the October election, said it was unable to prove majority . *****

The Congress, with its ally NCP, is likely to decide on whether to support the Shiv Sena ahead of the latter’s appointment with Maharashtra governor at 7. 30 pm on Monday.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo Deve Gowda on Monday weighed in on the political impasse in Maharashtra, which is playing out similar to the situation that occurred in Gowda’s home state of Karnataka after the Assembly election in 2018.

The JD (U) had formed a coalition government with the Congress after BS Yediyurappa-led BJP in the state had failed to prove its majority. With JD (U) ‘s HD Kumaraswamy as the chief minister, the coalition government was in power for a little over a year before it fell after it was hit by mass resignations of MLAs. Currently, Yediyurappa is at the helm of a BJP government in the state.

On Monday, Gowda commented on the possibility of the Congress-NCP alliance lending support to Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, whose demand for a rotational chief minister’s post has put it at loggerheads with its long-time ally, the BJP . *****

“If Congress gives support to Shiv Sena, they should not disturb it for the next five years. Only then people will trust the Congress,” Gowda said.

“Bala Saheb gave a place to the BJP in Maharashtra, LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee had gone to Bala Saheb’s residence and requested him for seats. The BJP overrode that, that’s why Uddhav Thackeray has taken a stand that he will teach them a lesson. Now, it’s for Congress and NCP to put down BJP, “he added.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who has been at the forefront of the “junior ally” s “belligerent” demand of a rotational chief minister’s post after the Maharashtra Assembly election in October, is reportedly admitted to the Lilavati hospital. However, theANIreportsaid more details were awaited.

Senior members of the Maharashtra Congress are scheduled to meet party MLAs at 4 pm even as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar concluded amid a situation of tumult in the state’s politics.

After the NCP’s core committee meet held in Mumbai concluded, party leader Nawab Malik said that they will wait for their Maha-aghadi ally to take their decision on supporting the Shiv Sena in a meeting to be held with senior Maharashtra Congress leaders at 4 pm in Delhi.

With the Congress meeting underway in Delhi to discuss the situation in Maharashtra, a party source toldCNN-News 18that state leaders Milind Deora and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan are in support of an alliance with the Shiv Sena. Sources said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has emerged as the frontrunner for the post of the chief minister. It was also reported there is a possibility of two deputy chief ministers – one from NCP and one from Congress.

Shiv Sena will hand over a letter of support to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at 2. 30 PM. During the meeting, Shiv Sena delegation, to be led by Eknath Shinde, is likely to seek time to prove majority. Later, a high level meet is scheduled to take place at the Sena Bhavan.

In a press conference held after a meeting of Shiv Sena leaders, Sanjay Raut addressed a press conference where he blamed the BJP for not keeping its word on the 50: 50 alliance formula. Holding the BJP responsible for the political crisis in Maharashtra, Raut said the saffron party has insulted people’s mandate by agreeing to sitting in the Opposition rather than following the agreed formula to give the state a stable government. He also hit out at the saffron party for ignoring allies in other states as well.

Sixteen days after the Maharashtra Assembly election results, the unfolding events took another spin as the single-largest party and the major partner of the winning alliance, Bharatiya Janata Party, declared that it was unable to form the government.

The BJP informed Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari of its decision, after the latter had invited the party to show its ‘willingness and ability’ to form the government in state. Following procedure, Koshyari has now invited the Shiv Sena, the second largest party, to stake claim to power.

Announcing the BJP’s decision, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which isadamant on its demandfor a rotational chief ministership, of “disrespecting” the popular mandate secured by the BJP and the Sena in the recent Assembly polls.

“The mandate of the people of Maharashtra was for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. Sena has, however, disrespected the mandate, hence we have decided to not stake claim to form government. We have informed our decision to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, “Patil told reporters outside Raj Bhavan.

He wished “good luck” to the Sena if it wanted to form the government with the help of Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.

Sena, meanwhile, has maintained that it will install its chief minister at all costs.

The Congress has so far remained wary of making any concrete comments and is currently holding consultations. Senior NCP leader Nawab Malik said the party will take a decision only after the Sena walks out of the NDA and gives a formal proposal seeking support to form a government.

The Maha story so far

The BJP and the Sena had together won 161 seats in the 288 – member House, well above the halfway mark of 145. However, the trouble between the allies started after 24 October when the results were announced. Upon discovering that the BJP (105 ) could not secure the majority (145) by itself, the Sena asserted its claim over the chief minister’s post. Sena claimed that the BJP had promised it an equal share in power before Lok Sabha election, which, it said, meant that notwithstanding its seat share (56), it was entitled to chief minister’s post for half the term of the elected Assembly. The BJP, however, denied having agreed to such an arrangement.

The Sena continued its attack on its ally of 30 years, while flirting with Sharad Pawar’s NCP. It did not hold talks with BJP even once, while Sena’s senior leader Raut visited Pawar twice and dialed up his nephew Ajit Pawar too,as per the latter’s claim. Uddhav later accepted to have suspended talks because BJP had outright denied that the parties had ever agreed upon a 50: 50 power sharing formula. “We do not do business with those who make it seem like we are liars. Nobody has ever called the Thackeray family a liar,” Uddhav had told reporters after Fadnavis’ tirade against his party.

Fadnavis had accused Sena of jeopardizing the alliance, stating that he was hurt and shocked by Sena’s changed demeanor after the elections. On Sena’s statement that the mandate was against Fadnavis, the caretaker chief minister subtly highlighted that his party had a better strike rate than Sena.

Fadnavis said BJP’s “strike rate” was better in 2019 than in 2014. “We contested 260 seats in 2014 and won 47 percent seats and 28 percent votes. In 2019, we contested 150 seats. We won 70 percent of seats and 26 percent votes, “he said.

Sena, which contested alone in 2014, won 63 out of 282 seats with a strike rate of 22. 34 percent . In 2019, it fought on 126 seats and won with a strike rate of 45 percent.

Where do other players stand?

Congress, which had been watching the show from the guidelines for the first time showed signs of the intent for an alliance.

While senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said his party did not want President’s Rule in the state, another party leader Milind Deora hinted at his support for an alliance with Sena by stating that NCP and Congress should try to form the government since the BJP has failed. An ‘attempt’ such as the one suggested by Deora is mathematically impossible without the Sena’s support to theMaha-agadhialliance.

Sanjay Nirupam was the only voice in Congress who openly opposed an alliance with Sena based on ideological differences. Nirupam said “it seems the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has broken”, and that he would urge his party leadership not to encourage government formation with the Sena’s help as it will “not be a stable government” and both the Congress and NCP will suffer . *****

On its part, the NCP has also taken a cautious route. While on one hand, NCP’s national chief Pawar kept insisting that NCP is content to sit in the Opposition, party’s state president Nawab Malik dropped ample hints that if Sena was ready to sever all ties with BJP, there may be scope for an alternative arrangement. Congress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday met the party’s newly elected MLAs from Maharashtra, who are staying at a resort in Jaipur, to discuss the political situation in the state while NCP chief Sharad Pawar met some of his party leaders in Mumbai.

A senior Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has deputed two observers to hold discussions with the MLAs in Jaipur on what stand the party should take in view of the impasse on government formation . *****

“The Congress has to decide if it wants to stop the BJP in Maharashtra or whether it doesn’t care if the BJP is able to form a government. An alternative government can be formed only with Congress’ support,” he said.

He also said that Congress General Secretary Mallikarjun Kharge held informal talks with the Maharashtra Congress MLAs in Jaipur in the morning.

He also brushed aside suggestions that the governor could invite the Congress-NCP for government formation as the ‘second largest’ alliance, claiming no such provision existed in the Sarkaraia Commission’s recommendations.

In another development, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also held a meeting with some of his party leaders in Mumbai. Refusing to speak on a “non-BJP alliance”, Pawar said he would react only to Congress’ official statement.

“I cannot go by news reports about the decision of the Congress. I will react only when the Congress officially informs me about its decision,” Pawar told reporters.

With inputs from agencies

                                                                                

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