Just moments after Shiv Sena leaders led by Aditya Thackeray met the Maharashtra governor to inform that it is willing to form the government, both NCP and Congress clarified that they have not sent any letter of support for Shiv Sena. The governor had given a deadline of 7.30 PM today to Shiv Sena to inform its willingness and ability to form the government. Accordingly, Sena leaders met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and informed that they are willing to form the government, but needed two more days to show its ability to do so.
Raj Bhavan Press Release pic.twitter.com/UDyCO0aCxF
— Governor of Maharashtra (@maha_governor) November 11, 2019
Although media was reporting that NCP has decided to form an alliance with Shiv Sena and Congress was giving outside support, actually Shiv Sena is yet to receive any formal support from both the parties. Just after Sena leaders met the governor, a press release issued by Congress party said that they are yet to make a decision. The statement said that Sonia Gandhi has spoken to Sharad Pawar, and will hold further discussions with NCP. Most importantly, the statement was silent on any communication with Shiv Sena or support for the party.
#BREAKING | No word on support to Shiv Sena from Congress, the party says ‘will have further discussions with NCP.’
— Times of India (@timesofindia) November 11, 2019
The Congress statement makes it clear that they had not extended their support to Shiv Sena yet. Similarly, NCP also has not sent any letter of support to the Governor. Congress leader Manikrao Thackeray told the media that neither Congress nor NCP has sent any letter to the governor.
Manikrao Thackeray, Congress: Neither ours nor NCP’s letter has gone to #Maharashtra Governor yet. It has been decided that two leaders will be sent for discussions with Pawar sa’ab (Sharad Pawar), state leaders will also be there. The next step will be taken after the discussion pic.twitter.com/d2bGmL6qN8
— ANI (@ANI) November 11, 2019
As the governor declined to extend the time given to Shiv Sena to stake a claim, the time given to it has expired, which means Shiv Sena can’t form the government now.
And in latest development, the governor has invited the leaders of NCP, the third-largest party, to meet him. According to reports, NCP had been given 24 hours to stake a claim to form the government. As Congress has already informed that it is in talks with NCP, it is likely that they will extend their support to NCP. But they still do not have enough numbers, and NCP-Congress alliance will need Shiv Sena’s support.
Ajit Pawar, NCP: 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. #Maharashtra pic.twitter.com/swT4cekton
— ANI (@ANI) November 11, 2019
Addressing media, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that governor called him and asked to meet him. He said that he has no idea why the governor invited him, and added that he will be meeting the governor along with Chhagan Bhujbal, Jayant Patil and others. He is meeting the governor today itself.
NCP leader Nawab Malik said that the party will take a final decision tomorrow after discussions with Congress. He said that NCP has been called by the governor to form the govt, and they have been given 24 hours to stake a claim for the government.
It will be interesting to see whether Shiv Sena will support NCP after they were unable to procure a support letter from them in time. They broke the alliance with BJP for their demand of CM post, and has been saying that there will be a Shiv Sena chief minister in the state, therefore it is unlikely that they will be supporting a NCP led government.
BJP had emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats and Shiv Sena 56, in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. On the other hand, the NCP and its ally, the Congress, won 54 and 44 seats, respectively.