Maharashtra govt formation: Governor invites NCP, rejects Sena's request for time

Maharashta politics
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

After declining Shiv Sena's request for another 48 hours to gather the required number, the Mahrashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has invited National Congress Party (NCP) to form the government. The NCP has to stake the claim on the government by 8:30pm on Tuesday.

Though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena had emerged as the single largest party and second largest party respectively in the Maharashtra assembly elections, they failed to rally the numbers necesssary for forming the government.

Aaditya Thackarey led a Shiv Sena delegation on Monday and met the Mahrashtra Governor to express their willingness to form the government in the state.

In a press conference that followed the meeting, Aaditya, the son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that though the governor accepted their willingness to form the government in principle, he rejected the Sena's request for another 48 hours to gather the necessary numbers.

Though reports had surfaced that the Indian National Congress extended its support to the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra casting aside their ideological differences, Aaditya declined to comment more on the discussions.

"We informed the Maharashtra governor about our willingness to stake a claim for government formation. Shiv Sena MLAs have already issued their support in written," he said.

He said the two parties (read NCP and Congress) need few more days to complete their procedures. "Hence we sought time from the governor but he refused to grant it," he added.

The Shiv Sena had time till 7.30 pm on Monday to stake claim.  

Uddhav Thackeray had spoken to Congress President Sonia Gandhi over phone and National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in person in a bid to rally the required numbers.

Meanwhile, top Congress leaders, former Maharashtra chief ministers Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde as well as state unit chief Balasaheb Thorat met party president Sonia Gandhi on Monday evening to decide on whether or not to support the Shiv Sena in forming a government in the state.

Senior leaders A K Antony, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal also attended the meeting in the evening.

Sonia Gandhi also spoke with senior party leader from Maharshtra Nana Patole and discussed the political possibilities, sources said.

The Congress is a democratic party and all decisions are taken after extensive discussions, Patole said.

The Sena is the second largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP (105).

Given the stalemate between the two alliance partners, the role of the Congress with its 44 legislators and the Nationalist Congress Party with 54 MLAs proved crucial crucial.  

(With inputs from PTI.)

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