Rejecting the claims made by Shiv Sena that they have the supports of NCP and Congress for formation of a government, both parties have made it clear that they have not decided on support Shiv Sena in forming an alliance government in the state. After a meeting between Congress and NCP leaders in Mumbai, both parties confirmed that an alliance with Shiv Sena has not been finalised yet.
On a day when President’s rule was imposed in Maharashtra after the governor was convinced that no party is able to form a governor, senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, K C Venugopal and Ahmed Patel travelled to Mumbai to hold discussions with NCP leaders including Sharad Pawar. After the meeting, a joint statement was issued by Congress and NCP, which said that they are still in the process of conducting discussions.
Most importantly, the joint statement says that Shiv Sena had contacted Congress and NCP only on 11th November. “It is important to clarify all points before such an important decision is taken. After today’s meeting, detailed discussions on these matters are important,” the statement said.
The future course of action will be taken after arriving at a consensus between both the parties, the statement added.
NCP leader Praful Patel: A meeting was held between senior leaders of NCP and Congress today. On 11th November Shiv Sena first contacted us formally. We will discuss on all the issues and then take a decision. #Mumbai pic.twitter.com/65aprntKXD
— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2019
Addressing reporters, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that no talks took place with Shiv Sena on forming a government. He said that lots of things were not made clear yet, and more discussions are needed to decide on a Common Minimum Program. He said that they are not in a hurry, and will hold discussions with Congress before deciding whether to support Shiv Sena. He also said first Congress and NCP have to decide whether the government has to be formed or not.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel also voiced similar opinions. He said, “We need clarity as Shiv Sena fought election with BJP and now wants to come with us. How can we decide without a Common Minimum Programme? First NCP-Cong will settle all issues then we’ll speak to Shiv Sena.” Patel said that Congress can’t take a decision without consulting NCP as they are alliance partners, that’s why they went to Mumbai to meet NCP leaders and further talks are necessary before taking any decision. He also criticised the governor for inviting BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP but not inviting Congress for forming a government, and slammed the decision to impose president’s rule in the state.
It is interesting to note that in the petition filed by Shiv Sena in Supreme Court against the governor for not granting them to gather support, they have mentioned that they have acquired the support of Congress and NCP. “The Petitioners are given to understand that Respondent Nos. 3 and 4 herein are principally willingly to support the Petitioners in forming the government in the State of Maharashtra,” the petition mentions. Shiv Sena has made Congress and NCP respondents in the petition. But the statements of Congress and NCP make it clear that they have not made any such promise so far.
After the Congress-NCP press conference, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addressed the media and said that Sena, Congress and NCP will sit together to prepare a Common Minimum Program. “If BJP-PDP, or BJP-TDP or BJP-JDU can come together, then we can try for forming a govt with Congress and NCP who are of different ideologies. After chalking out a Common Minimum Program we will stake claim again,” he added. He said that BJP and Sena were together for many years, but now they have to go with Congress and NCP, and they will hold further talks with both the parties.
In another significate development, BJP leader Narayan Rane has said that BJP is still trying to form a government. He said that it is unlikely that Shiv Sena will be able to form government with Congress and NCP. He added that Devendra Fadnavis is putting in all efforts in this direction.