- Shortly, the governor called NCP legislature party chief Ajit Pawar to Raj Bhavan and asked him to indicate within 24 hours whether his party was “willing and able to form government”.
- NCP said it will hold meetings with Congress before a decision.
Chhagan Bhujbal and other Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders meet governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh K …Read More
MUMBAI: Amid hectic political parleys and high drama, Shiv Sena exited its long-standing alliance with BJP on Monday but suffered a body blow when its attempt to cobble together a government of Maha Shiv Aghadi — comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — flopped as it could not produce support letters by the 7. 30 pm deadline and governor BS Koshyari refused more time.
Shortly, the governor called NCP legislature party chief Ajit Pawar to Raj Bhavan and asked him to indicate within 24 hours whether his party was “willing and able to form government”. NCP said it will hold meetings with Congress before a decision.
The day’s developments meant that even 18 days after election results , the people ofMaharashtrado not have a government. It emerged that despite Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray meeting Pawar and callingSonia Gandhi, the party was unable to secure letters of support from Congress and NCP, though it said it had “in principle” support from both. “On the plea of NCP, not only our Cabinet member quit government, but Shiv Sena too is out of NDA. Now, we are nowhere. We are surprised over the attitude of Congress and NCP, ”a Sena leader said.
However, sources said, the party has not given up all hope and is mulling moving the high court against the governor’s stern decision. Congress general secretary Avinash Pande said Raj Bhavan has not rejected Sena’s claim, and his party is still keen to support a Sena-led government, in collaboration with NCP. “We felt that before taking a major decision, more consultation was required, particularly on terms and conditions. We are hopeful Maharashtra will have a government comprising Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, we have not rejected the proposal, ’’ Pande.
On Monday evening, Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, accompanied by legislature party leaderEknath Shinde, submitted a letter to Koshyari, saying the party has the support of legislators required for government formation and sought more time. But Thackeray failed to produce letters of support, and Koshyari rejected the plea for extension of time. “Governor expressed his inability to give any further extension,” an official release said.
Monday started with Sena’s only Union minister Arvind Sawant resigning from PM Modi’s government in Delhi, signalling the exit of BJP’s oldest ally from NDA. It was a condition NCP had set, and soon Thackeray, who was emerging as a CM candidate, met with Sharad Pawar in a city hotel.
In New Delhi, theCongress Working Committeemet to discuss supporting a Sena-led government. It seemed inconclusive, and soon Thackeray called Sonia and in a seven-minute conversation is said to have sought Congress support. But this and Pawar’s interactions with Sonia andAhmed Pateldid not bring a positive result. Congress held another meeting with state leaders, and then tersely released a letter saying it needed to hold more talks with ally NCP before deciding on its course of action.
On, Tuesday, NCP will have to play its cards. “Ajit Pawar received call from Raj Bhavan in the evening. When he went there, he was handed a letter asking to indicate his willingness for formation of government within 24 hours, ”party spokesperson Nawab Malik said. He was non-committal on whether NCP will seek support of Congress and Sena. “I am not sure if Shiv Sena will extend support to us,” said Malik.
AICC general secretary Pande felt that Raj Bhavan has not rejected Sena’s claim, it has only declined to grant extension for submitting letters of support. “In our opinion, Shiv Sena’s claim still stands and Raj Bhavan will have to accept if Shiv Sena submits supporting documents,” said Pande.
After meeting the governor, Aaditya Thackeray said: “We have shown the willingness to form government and had asked the governor for more time as the two parties we are in talks with are yet to complete their procedure. Our demand for an extension was rejected, but our claim stands. ”He said the two parties had given“ in principle ”support but it will take a few more days. “The process has started, we will come back with everyone,” he said on Monday evening. Sena leader Anandrao Adsul said they told the governor that they have the support of 161 MLAs, including NCP and Congress, and the smaller allies and Independents but they gave only the letter of support of their MLAs to the governor.
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