Sanjay Raut said letters from the MLAs of three parties will be given to the Governor on Saturday
Mumbai:An unlikely Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress combo may form government in Maharashtra this weekend, sources said today after reports that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had been persuaded to collaborate with the ideologically opposite Sena. The Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said letters of support from the MLAs of all three parties will be handed over to the Governor on Saturday. A joint meeting of the Sena, NCP and the Congress will take place in Mumbai to finalize the alliance. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP’s Sharad Pawar are likely to join the meeting for discussions on power sharing.
Here are the top 10 updates on Maharashtra government formation:
- “On Saturday, a letter signed by the MLAs of the three parties will be handed over to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari,” Sanjay Raut told NDTV. Sources in the Sena and NCP added that “if all goes well, a swearing in ceremony will take place on Sunday or Monday.”
- This morning, as the Congress Working Committee met at Sonia Gandhi’s home, leaders asked the party chief to consider the “changed circumstances” in Maharashtra after the Shiv Sena ended its alliance with the BJP and requested the Congress and NCP’s support. The greater enemy in the fight against communalism is the BJP, the Congress chief was told.
- “I think tomorrow we will probably have a decision in Mumbai, “said Congress leader KC Venugopal after the meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC). Yesterday, the Congress said it is in talks to form a “stable government soon” in Maharashtra but indicated that kinks remain in a possible Sena-NCP-Congress alliance.
- “Some aspects of the alliance” were still to be discussed, said senior Congress leaders after a meeting with the NCP at its chief Sharad Pawar’s home. “There can’t be any government in Maharashtra without the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. We are trying our best to resolve issues, “said NCP leader Nawab Malik.
- Sanjay Raut said there was “no talk” of the chief minister’s post being shared but added: “This won’t be a big issue.” The Sena has been desperately waiting for the NCP and Congress to make up their mind after ending its alliance with the BJP, a partner for over three decades, over a power tussle. The Sena insisted on rotational chief ministership and an equal share in ministries, which the BJP rejected.
- After sitting on the Shiv Sena’s request for support for more than a week, the Congress met with the NCP on Wednesday, hours after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar fueled intense speculation. PM Modi’s praise for NCP in parliament had also stirred the pot.
- The 45 – minute PM-Pawar meeting delivered a pointed message to the Congress to quit stalling. Reports that the BJP is pursuing Mr Pawar’s support – the NCP is only two seats behind the Shiv Sena and can help the BJP cross the majority mark in Maharashtra – and that the President’s post for the veteran is also on the table may have also galvanized
- The parties are yet to finalize the formula, which broadly involves rotational chief ministership, two deputy chief ministers and a coordination committee to find common ground between the ideologically mismatched parties.
- The Shiv Sena may be asked to tone down its Hindutva rhetoric, which a red flag for the Congress and the reason why Sonia Gandhi’s heart was not in such an alliance. On Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi was urged by Kerala ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) not to support the Sena.
- Maharashtra was placed under President’s Rule last week after no party could produce letters of support to prove their majority.
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