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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena stakes claim to form government without enough numbers as Congress yet to decide on supporting them

Breaking away from its alliance partner BJP, the Shiv Sena, with its singular pursuit of having its chief minister in the state, joined hands with its ideological rivals- NCP and Congress - to stake a claim at the government

The political imbroglio in Maharashtra may finally come to an end as Sena leaders including Aditya Thackeray today visited Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and informed that they will be forming the government in Maharashtra. Although Shiv Sena didn’t make a formal claim to form government, only informed the government that it is willing to form the government, but said that it needs more time to show that it is able to do so.

Yesterday, the governor had asked Shiv Sena, the single largest party, to explore the possibility of forming government, and had asked to indicate its willingness and ability to do so. Governor had approached after BJP had replied with no to a similar query. Governor had given time till 7.30 PM today for Shiv Sena to respond, and accordingly, Shiv Sena met the governor within the deadline and informed him that they are willing and able to form the government. Talking to reporters after meeting the governor, Aditya Thackeray said that they have sought 2 more days to come up with support from other parties, but that request was denied. He said that the claim to form the government was not denied, but only the request for two more days was declined.

Although several media houses had reported that Congress has faxed/sent its letter of outside support to Sena led government to 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. The statement was silent on any communication with Shiv Sena or support for the party.

Earlier it was reported that that NCP will be an alliance partner of Shiv Sena while the Congress party may provide outside support to the alliance for the formation of the government in the state. Three other independent MLAs including Bacchu Kadu also reached Raj Bhavan to show their support to Shiv Sena led government.

According to the sources, if Shiv Sena is able to form a government, party chief Uddhav Thackeray will be the chief minister of the state, while NCP’s Ajit Pawar, who once mocked farmers’ plight drought by saying if he should pee in the dams to end their irrigation woes, will be deputy CM.

The Shiv Sena had consultations with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Congress party for the formation of government in the state. According to reports, Uddhav Thackeray talked to Sonia Gandhi over the issue. The Congress Working Committee met this morning to discussed the matter.

As governor has refused to grant more time to Shiv Sena, and the party has not been able to gather the required numbers to form the governor, it is up to the governor to take the next decision on the matter. If Congress party does not support Shiv Sena, probably president’s rule will be the only option.

Shiv Sena shunned its alliance partner BJP over the disagreement over the post of the chief minister. Sena had contended that they had a “pre-poll agreement” over what it calls 50-50 formula in which the state will have rotational chief ministers. However, BJP led by Devendra Fadnavis outrightly denied having any discussions with Sena regarding the same.

The disagreement soon escalated with Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray pulling the plug on the deliberations with the BJP and declaring in a press conference that he does not need Amit Shah and Devendra Fadnavis to form government in the state. When questioned if he is contemplating on joining hands with Sharad Pawar’s NCP, he had then proclaimed that Shiv Sena is exploring all the options available in front of it for forming its government in the state with its chief minister.

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