Shiv Sena Managers to Meet on Friday to Discussions with Congress-NCP

maharashtra-government-1573477047NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI : Amid a cautious approach by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress over government formation in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has called a meeting of all its MLAs and senior leaders here on November 22, said a party leader on Tuesday.
The Shiv Sena broke up with the BJP, its partner of more than three decades, over its demand for rotational chief ministership and a better share of ministries. The BJP rejected the demand, insisting no such deal was ever discussed with the Sena.
Sena sources say the party is “happy to revive its alliance with the BJP” if the BJP reverts to the 50-50 chief ministership formula.”You don’t worry about Pawar and our alliance. Very soon, by the first week of December, a Shiv Sena-led alliance government will be in power in Maharashtra. It will be a stable government,” Sanjay Raut said on Tuesday.
Speculation that a Sena-NCP-Congress is not a done deal was fueled by Sharad Pawar’s baffling response to reporters asking him about the Shiv Sena’s claim about talks with the NCP – “Really?” Mr Raut quipped, “It needs 100 births to understand what Sharad Pawar says.”
Meanwhile, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will address the meeting, which is expected to deliberate on the future course of action in the backdrop of the three main non-BJP parties making efforts to form the government in Maharashtra currently under President’s rule.

“Uddhav Thackeray will address the meeting of party MLAs and other senior leaders on November 22 in Mumbai,” said the Sena leader. The meeting will discuss the party’s future course of action and will also see interaction with newly-elected Sena MLAs, he said.

The Sena won 56 seats in the October 21 Assembly election, but refused to form government with its pre-poll ally BJP (105 seats) after the latter turned down its demand for rotational chief ministership.
After the two saffron parties parted ways, the Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP, its political rivals till recently, to explore the possibility of forming an alternative government in the country’s richest state.
NCP president Sharad Pawar held a meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday. Pawar later said if the NCP-Congress have to take a view on government formation, they have to first discuss it between themselves.  The two sides have deputed leaders for holding talks on a possible alliance with the Sena, a party closely associated with Hindutva and anti-Congressism.

A meeting with the Congress scheduled in Delhi on Tuesday to further discuss the possibility of government formation in Maharashtra was called off due to pre-occupation of Congress leaders with Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary events, NCP leader Nawab Malik said, adding Congress leaders requested that the meeting be postponed to Wednesday.
In last month’s polls, the NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly where the majority mark is 145.
But Sena functionaries conceded that the NCP chief is being pursued by the BJP, which is desperately trying to outwit the Shiv Sena in the race to power in Maharashtra. The job of President of India is on the table, said a Sena source. The NCP chief has, for now, ruled out any tie-up with the BJP.
Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).




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