Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE Updates: President's Rule imposed for 6 months, says MHA; can be withdrawn if any party proves majority - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Maharashtra Government Formation LIVE Updates: President's Rule imposed for 6 months, says MHA; can be withdrawn if any party proves majority

17:55 (IST)

MHA says President's Rule to be withdrawan if any party proves majority

The Ministry of Home Affairs has outlined the conditions of President's Rule that has been imposed in Maharashtra on the governor's recommendation, and said that as per protocol, the directive will only be valid for six months.

"The President's Rule can be withdrawn if any party can prove majority," the statement was quoted as saying by reports. The statement also said that the decision was taken after the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation because he claimed that a stable government couldn't be formed in the state.

17:45 (IST)

Kapil Sibal to represent Shiv Sena in SC

Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal is reportedly set to represent the Shiv Sena in its petition challenging the Maharashtra governor's decision in the state in the Supreme Court.

Earlier on Tuesday, reports said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party talked to Kapil Sibal and Ahmed Patel over the issue.

17:40 (IST)

Uddhav, Aaditya Thackeray leave for meeting with Shiv Sena MLAs

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, and party MLA Aaditya Thackeray on Monday evening left their residence in Bandra for a meeting with Shiv Sena MLAs in Maharashtra at the Hotel Retreat in Malad. 

With President's Rule having imposed in Maharashtra after the approval given by President Ram Nath Kovind, the Shiv Sena, which emerged as the second-largest party in the October election, is likely to deliberate on the future course of action.

17:30 (IST)

Ram Nath Kovind approves President's Rule, say reports

India Today and CNN-News18 reported that President Ram Nath Kovind has approved Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation for President's Rule in Maharashtra. 

The Gazette Notification is expected shortly.

17:27 (IST)

Maharashtra BJP to meet at 6 pm

The Maharashtra BJP core group is likely to meet over the political developments in the state at 6 pm at caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis's residence, News18 reported.

17:23 (IST)

Shiv Sena to file second petition if President's Rule is imposed 

The Shiv Sena is likely to file a second petition in the Supreme Court if President's Rule is imposed in Maharashtra, according to the recommendation of state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

17:13 (IST)

MHA sends documents regarding President's Rule to Ram Nath Kovind

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent the file on Maharashtra Governor's recommendation to impose President's Rule in the state to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent. Reportedly, Kovind is travelling and is set to return to the National Capital at 5 pm today.

Reports also said that Kovind is set to take a decision on the situation shortly.

17:06 (IST)

Congress' Sachin Sawant slams possibility of President's Rule in Maharashtra

Congress leaders launched criticism on Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation to impose President's Rule in the state.

17:01 (IST)

Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel reach Mumbai for meeting with NCP

Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel, authorised by party interim president Sonia Gandhi to work out a power-sharing equation with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have arrived in Mumbai.

The meeting between Congress and NCP is scheduled for 5 pm.

16:50 (IST)

Randeep Surjewala says governor should have called pre-poll alliances

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday slammed Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation of imposing President's Rule in Maharashtra and said that he had given a "completely arbitrary allotment of time" for parties other than the BJP to stake claim to gorm the government. "This is unashamedly dishonest and politically motivated," he said.

16:37 (IST)

Congress slams recommendation of President's Rule in Maharashtra

Congress leaders Sanjay Nirupam and Randeep Surjewala criticised Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation that President's Rule be imposed in Maharashtra, in the absence of a government in the state even two weeks after the Assembly election results were announced.

However, leaders from the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena have accused the governor of "unconstitutionally" declining enough time to the second and third largest parties to stake a claim.

Nirupam said, "The imposition of President Rule in Maharashtra was decided long ago.But Hon Governer should have waited till 8.30 tonight before sending report to Centre. Because he only had fixed this deadline with NCP as last option to form the government. Prima facie it looks illegal and unconstitutional now."

Meanwhile, Surjewala said that the governor had "committed a grave travesty of the democracy and made a mockery of the Constitutional process" in reccomending President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

16:24 (IST)

Advocate Sunil Fernandez files plea on behalf of Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Maharashtra governor's decision to not extend the time given to the party to prove their ability to form the government. Advocate Sunil Fernandez has filed the plea for Shiv Sena, ANI reported.

16:20 (IST)

Sonia Gandhi gives 'green signal' to talks with NCP, Shiv Sena

According to a report by India Today, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has given a go-ahead to talks with its ally the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and saffron party Shiv Sena "for exploring government formation". Sonia has authorised Congress leaders KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel, and Malikarjjun Kharge to refine a power-sharing equation and a common-minimum programme with the parties.

16:15 (IST)

Shiv Sena asks SC to overrule governor's refusal to extend deadline

The Shiv Sena has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against Maharashtra governor's "unconstitutional" refusal to grant the party three days' time to stake a claim to form the government in the state.

In the petition, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has asked the court to "overrule the governor's letter rejecting the request for an extention on the deadline, "has asked for enough time to prove their majority, and has asked the court to cancel the governor's decision to dismiss Sena's claim to power," India Today reported.

16:09 (IST)

Confusion abounds in state as Raj Bhavan U-turns on recommending President's Rule

As reports claimed that Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had recommended President's Rule in the state, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson denied the information, however, soon after that, the Maharashtra governor released the statement endorsing President's Rule.

16:04 (IST)

Governor has acted in hot haste: Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena, in a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the Maharashtra governor's recommendation to reportedly  impose President Rule's in the state, called the decision an "arbitrary, unconstitutional, unreasonable, capricious, and malafide".

The Shiv Sena on Monday had asked the governor for three days' time to stake a claim to form the government, but the request was denied. In the petition, Shiv Sena said that Koshyari had "in hot haste refused to grant even three days’ time"

Shiv Sena's writ petition in Delhi by Natasha T. on Scribd

15:45 (IST)

Shiv Sena seeks urgent SC hearing against Governor's refusal to grant extention

Shiv Sena has sought an urgent hearing in the case agains bid to impose President's Rule in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena said, "Governor wrongfully declined to give three days time". Shiv Sena MLA Anil Parab is a co-petitioner in the case. However, the Supreme Court has not said anything about hearing the case on an urgent basis.

15:41 (IST)

DD reports, Raj bhavan denies, and Governor later confirms; confusion over President's Rule in state finally cleared

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday recommended President's rule in the state. An important executive development was mired in confusion as media outlets, including state-run Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan leaked the news citing sources. Meanwhile, several journalists quoted Raj Bhavan Spokesperson to negate the reports. The confusion cleared up only when the Raj Bhavan confirmed recommendation of President's Rule at its official handle. 

15:40 (IST)

Shiv Sena movers Supreme Court against imposition of President's Rule 

Shiv Sena Tuesday approached the Supreme Court against Maharashtra Governor's move to recommend President's Rule in the state. The party, reportedly, took legal advice from Congress leader and eminent lawyer Kapil Sibal. 

15:28 (IST)

Submitted a report in accordance with Aricle 356: Maharashtra governor

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari confirmed on the Raj Bhavan's official Twitter handle having recommended the President's Rule. He said that his actions were as per the law. 

15:18 (IST)

Confusion over President's Rule amid conflicting media reports

There's a great deal of confusion over whether or not President's Rule will be imposed in Maharashtra as conflicting reports continue to filter in. 

PTI cited sources to claim that Cabinet has recommended President's Rule in Maharashtra. Meanwhile several journalists, along with NCP leader Ajit Pawar claimed Raj Bhavan officials have denied such a claim.

Meanwhile, India Today and CNN-News18, claimed that Shiv Sena has moved Supreme Court against the governor's alleged move

14:51 (IST)

Cong didn't delay decision on supporting Sena: Chavan

Former Maharashtra chief minister​ Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday rejected criticism that the Congress delayed its decision on supporting the Shiv Sena for government formation in the state. Asked whether the Congress has agreed to support the Shiv Sena to form government, Chavan said if that wasn't so, his party would not have held prolonged discussions in Delhi on Monday.

14:46 (IST)

Raj Bhawan denies reports of recommending President's Rule

There are contrasting reports on recommendation of President's Rule. Some journalists are stating that Raj Bhawan has quashed such reports. 

14:43 (IST)

DD News cites sources to claim guv recommends President's Rule

14:30 (IST)

Sonia dials up Sharad Pawar, authorizes 3 senior leaders to hold talks with NCP

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday spoke to NCP chief Sharad Pawar and authorised three senior party leaders to hold further talks on the issue of government formation in Maharashtra. Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal would be leaving for Mumbai later in the day for holding discussions with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. 

PTI

14:22 (IST)

Sena approaches Congress' Kapil Sibal for legal advice, will move SC if President's Rule is imposed

 If the Maharashtra Governor imposes President Rule in the state, Shiv Sena is likely to approach Supreme Court against the move. ANI reported that Uddhav Thackeray has talked to Kapil Sibal and Ahmed Patel over the issue.

14:06 (IST)

Narendra Modi calls urgent cabinet meet before departing for BRICS summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called an urgent Cabinet meeting just before his departure this afternoon for BRICS summit in Brazil. The agenda of the meeting is not known but the political rumblings in Maharashtra suggests that the government formation in state may come up in discussions. 

14:02 (IST)

Amid reports of President's Rule, Shiv Sena questions governor's defiance of own deadline

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the governor has already sent the recommendation to impose President's Rule in Maharashtra and Shiv Sena leaders are already reacting to the media reports. Party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi asked on Twitter that how can the governor defy his own deadline of 8.30 pm given to NCP to form government.  

13:42 (IST)

Governor recommends President's Rule


Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has recommended President's Rule in Maharashtra, Times Now and CNN-News18 reported.

The recommendation comes hours before the 8.30 pm deadline given to the NCP to form the government. Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted, "How can the honourable governor recommend President rule till the time given to NCP doesn’t lapse?"

13:31 (IST)

AIMIM will not support a BJP or Shiv Sena-led govt, says Owaisi


AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said on Tuesday that his party, which won two seats in Maharashtra, will not support a government led by either the BJP or the Shiv Sena. "I am happy if the Congress-NCP are supporting Shiv Sena. People will know who was colluding with whom," he said.

Asked about whether he will support the government that comes into power, he said there is nothing to consider yet, with all the political parties only playing games. "Pehle nikaah hoga, uske baad sochenge ki beta hoga ya beti hogi. Abhi toh nikaah hi nahi hua. (Only after marriage can it be pondered upon having a son or a daughter)," he said.

13:16 (IST)

Worli MLA Aaditya Thackeray to meet Shiv Sena MLAs at 1:30 pm

12:45 (IST)

Ashish Shelar visits Sanjay Raut at Lilavati Hospital


BJP leader Ashish Shelar met Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut at Lilavati hospital.

He was visited earlier today by NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The leader was admitted to the hospital on Monday afternoon after he complained of chest pain.

12:40 (IST)

Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal to meet Sharad Pawar


Congress leader KC Venugopal tweeted that Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and he will meet Sharad Pawar in Mumbai to take forwards discussions that took place between the NCP and Congress chiefs over the phone earlier today.

Kharge told ANI that the NCP and Congress had a pre-poll alliance and the final decision will be a collective one too. "Our talks with NCP are on and we will only move forward once discussions with them are done," he said.

12:14 (IST)

Maharashtra Congress leaders to meet Sharad Pawar in Mumbai


Maharashtra Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat and Ashok Chavan to meet NCP supremo Sharad Pawar in Mumbai at 2 pm, CNN-News18 reported.

Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ahmed Patel to meet NCP leaders in Mumbai, ANI reported.

11:55 (IST)

Confident NCP wants Congress, Shiv Sena on board, instead of 'outside support'


NCP sources told CNN-News18 that the party is confident about government formation and is not scare of President's Rule, which is not permanent in nature.

Moreover, the sources said that NCP wants both the Shiv Sena and Congress on board, instead of getting 'outside support'. If the three parties come together, the chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena. "We can't take the risk of 'Operation Lotus' like in Karnataka or in Goa. But no discussions have taken place on the modalities of the alliance," sources said.

11:16 (IST)

Congress leaders defer Mumbai visit


Senior Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were supposed to visit Mumbai to discuss modalities of support to the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra, have deferred their visit, Congress' Manikrao Thakre told PTI.

The two leaders postponed their visit after NCP chief Sharad Pawar conveyed that state leaders of both the parties will first discuss the "terms and conditions" of government formation.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday discussed the state's political situation with Pawar and accordingly, it was decided that the state NCP and Congress leaders "will discuss the terms and conditions and a 'common minimum programme' for government formation" later in the day, he said.

"The Shiv Sena leaders are likely to join the discussions after the Congress and NCP come to an agreement," ​Thakare said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sharad Pawar had also denied having any knowledge about a meeting between the NCP and Congress.

11:05 (IST)

Those who dare do not lose, says Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut


A day after the Shiv Sena failed to get letters of support to form the government in Maharashtra, party leader Sanjay Raut quoted a poem to reaffirm that he and his party will not give up.

Raut, who was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai on Monday afternoon, tweeted two lines from Harivansh Rai Bachchan's famous poem, "Lehron se dar kar nauka paar nahi hoti, himmat karne waalon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti (the boat that qualms the waves never gets across, those who dare do not lose)."

10:40 (IST)

Sharad Pawar to visit Sanjay Raut at Lilavati Hospital


NCP chief Sharad Pawar will meet Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut at Lilavati hospital in Mumbai today, ANI reported. Raut was admitted to hospital on Monday after he complained of chest pain.

10:35 (IST)

Cannot decide on government formation alone, says Ajit Pawar


Insisting on the need for a stable government, NCP's Ajit Pawar said that letters of support were not received on Monday, even though Sharad Pawar and other senior leaders waited for them. "Whatever decision will be taken collectively. There is no misunderstanding, we contested together and are together," he said.

10:04 (IST)

Congress has no moral responsibility to form govt, says Sanjay Nirupam


Taking to Twitter, Congress' Sanjay Nirupam blamed the BJP and Shiv Sena for bringing Maharashtra to the "doorstep of President's Rule". He said holding Congress resonsible for the instability the state is witnessing currently is meaningless.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress MLA Kagda Chandya Padvi expressed confidence that the end of the government formation process will be positive. "Personally I think the three (Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP) parties will form the government and a Shiv Sena leader will be the chief minister," he told ANI.

09:41 (IST)

President accepts Arvind Sawant's resignation


A day after Shiv Sena's lone minister in the Union Cabinet put down his papers, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted his resignation on Tuesday. Prakash Javadekar has been given additional charge of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

09:31 (IST)

BJP core group to meet today as Sena toils to muster Congress, NCP support

The Bharatiya Janata Party's core group will meet again today to discuss the political situation in Maharashtra as the route to Sena-NCP-Congress alliance no longer appears as smooth as the Maratha party was letting on until Monday morning. The Congress has said it is yet to make up its mind on government formation, and no alternate alliance is possible without the grand old party's support. 

09:19 (IST)

Kerala Congress president expresses displeasure on ongoing talks with Sena

KPCC president Mullppally Ramachandran expressed his displeasure in the ongoing talks of the Congress to form alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, as part of government formation. He said forming an alliance with the Shiv Sena is not acceptable, Mathrubhumi news reported. 

09:11 (IST)

NCP finding it difficult to stake claim within 24-hour deadline, says report

The Indian Express reported that  if senior party sources are to be believed, it would be difficult for the NCP to convince the Congress leadership to go along with the Shiv Sena within the given time, while indicating that the state could be heading towards President’s rule. Some political analysts also opine that the alliance may run into trouble as Congress is letting Pawar bargain with Sena on its behalf too. 

08:55 (IST)

Lending support to Shiv Sena, will be a risky deal in the long run for Congress

Joining hands with the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra may prove to be a risky deal in the long run for the Congress. The Grand Old Party that once had a pathogenic hatred for the Sena and accused its founder and patriarch Bal Thackeray of playing the 'religion card' in politics, will be making a major ideological compromise at the national level if it finally extends support.

It may be recalled that it was the Congress that was behind the two major setbacks to the Sena patriarch — once when Thackeray was barred from casting his vote for six years and later, he even had to face arrest.

But, through a quirky turn of events in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena and Congress today find themselves standing on the same side of the barbed wire fence . Whether the Congress joins the Shiv Sena as an ally or gives outside support to keep the BJP out of power, it will do more harm to itself rather than to the saffron party.

08:48 (IST)

AAP leader slams Congress for moribund attitude on govt formation 

Aam Aadmi Party's Preeti Menon criticised Congress party for its indecisiveness on government formation in Maharashtra. Menon claimed that Congress was giving Maharashtra to BJP on a platter by refusing to back Shiv Sena.

The Congress had earlier turned down AAP's requests for a coalition ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi. 

08:12 (IST)

Congress, NCP to hold discussions at 2 pm 

Congress and Nationalist Congress Party will hold discussions over government today at 2 pm. The two parties are mulling to support a Shiv Sena-led government. However, they haven't come to a decision yet. 

07:52 (IST)

Sanjay Raut to be discharged from hospital in two days

Sanjay Raut, who was admitted to Lilavati hospital on Monday afternoon, is likely to be discharged after a routine check-up in a day or two, reports quoted his brother as saying.

A cardiologist at the hospital was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "This is a planned admission for Sanjay Raut in hospital. He suffered chest pain 2-3 days back. We decided to admit him today. We will be observing him. He should be discharged in a day or two. He is stable."

 
Raut, the executive editor of Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana has been strongly voicing his party's stand amid the ongoing standoff over government formation in the state. After the state Assembly polls were declared on 24 October, he has been holding media briefings everyday and posting tweets to hit out at the BJP as both the saffron parties have been at loggerheads over sharing the chief minister's post.

07:42 (IST)

Undecided on lending support to Sena, Sonia Gandhi to chair key Congress meet today

The Congress on Monday held marathon discussions and a meeting of the party's highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee, but remained indecisive on whether to support a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra. Party's interim chief Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to hold discussions today as well to arrive on a decision. The sticking point for the grand old party is Sena's known Hindu hardline stance, which the Congress has opposed historically. While the central leadership is wary of the saffron party and wants to give outside support to maintain its distance, state leadership, especialy newly elected MLAs want a share in the pie too if they are indeed playing a part in government formation.  

Maharashtra govt formation LATEST Updates: The Ministry of Home Affairs has outlined the conditions of President's Rule that has been imposed in Maharashtra on the governor's recommendation, and said that as per protocol, the directive will only be valid for six months.

"The President's Rule can be withdrawn if any party can prove majority," the statement was quoted as saying by reports. The statement also said that the decision was taken after the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation because he claimed that a stable government couldn't be formed in the state.

India Today and CNN-News18 reported that President Ram Nath Kovind has approved Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation for President's Rule in Maharashtra.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent the file on Maharashtra Governor's recommendation to impose President's Rule in the state to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent. Reportedly, Kovind is travelling and is set to return to the National Capital at 5 pm today.

Reports also said that Kovind is set to take a decision on the situation shortly.

Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal, Ahmed Patel, authorised by party interim president Sonia Gandhi to work out a power-sharing equation with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have arrived in Mumbai.

The meeting between Congress and NCP is scheduled for 5 pm.

Congress leaders Sanjay Nirupam and Randeep Surjewala criticised Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's recommendation that President's Rule be imposed in Maharashtra, in the absence of a government in the state even two weeks after the Assembly election results were announced.

However, leaders from the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena have accused the governor of "unconstitutionally" declining enough time to the second and third largest parties to stake a claim.

Nirupam said, "The imposition of President Rule in Maharashtra was decided long ago.But Hon Governer should have waited till 8.30 tonight before sending report to Centre. Because he only had fixed this deadline with NCP as last option to form the government. Prima facie it looks illegal and unconstitutional now."

Meanwhile, Surjewala said that the governor had "committed a grave travesty of the democracy and made a mockery of the Constitutional process" in reccomending President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena has sought an urgent hearing in the case agains bid to impose President's Rule in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena said, "Governor wrongfully declined to give three days time". Shiv Sena MLA Anil Parab is a co-petitioner in the case. However, the Supreme Court has not said anything about hearing the case on an urgent basis.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday recommended President's rule in the state. An important executive development was mired in confusion as media outlets, including state-run Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan leaked the news citing sources. Meanwhile, several journalists quoted Raj Bhavan Spokesperson to negate the reports. The confusion cleared up only when the Raj Bhavan confirmed recommendation of President's Rule at its official handle.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari confirmed on the Raj Bhavan's official Twitter handle having recommended the President's Rule. He said that his actions were as per the law.

Confusion over President Rule in Maharashtra prevails as conflicting reports continue to filer in. PTI cited sources to claim that Cabinet has recommended President's Rule in Maharashtra. Meanwhile several journalists, along with NCP leader Ajit Pawar claimed Raj Bhavan officials have denied such a claim.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the governor has already sent the recommendation to impose President's Rule in Maharashtra and Shiv Sena leaders are already reacting to the media reports. Party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi asked on Twitter that how can the governor defy his own deadline of 8.30 pm given to NCP to form government.

Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that the party is in no hurry to form the government and will wait for the Congress' decision. "We (Congress and NCP) contested together and we remain together," he said.

Sources told CNN-News18 that NCP wants both the Shiv Sena and Congress on board, instead of getting 'outside support'. If the three parties come together, the chief minister will be from the Shiv Sena. Senior Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were supposed to visit Mumbai to discuss modalities of support to the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra, have deferred their visit, Congress' Manikrao Thakre told PTI.

President Ram Nath Kovind accepted Arvind Sawant's resignation on Tuesday. Prakash Javadekar has been given additional charge of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

Meanwhile, Congress' Sanjay Nirupam blamed the BJP and Shiv Sena for bringing Maharashtra to the "doorstep of President's Rule". He said holding Congress responsible for the instability the state is witnessing currently is meaningless.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's core group will meet again today to discuss the political situation in Maharashtra as the route to Sena-NCP-Congress alliance no longer appears as smooth as the Maratha party was letting on until Monday morning. The Congress has said it is yet to make up its mind on government formation, and no alternate alliance is possible without the grand old party's support.

Congress and Nationalist Congress Party will hold discussions over government today at 2 pm. The two parties are mulling to support a Shiv Sena-led government. However, they haven't come to a decision yet.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, issuing a statement on inviting the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government in the state, said, "Despite the passage of 16 days, no single party or alliance of parties has come forward with requisite letter of support from alliance partners to form the government."

BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Monday weighed in on the tumultous political situation in Maharashtra as the Shiv Sena and NCP made frenzied attempts on Monday to cobble together a coalition government. After the meeting of senior BJP leaders, Mungantiwar said, "The BJP core team meeting has concluded. The political situation in the state was discussed in the meeting. On its basis, BJP is taking the stand of 'wait and watch'."

A delegation of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has reached the Raj Bhavan for a meeting with Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after reports claimed that the authority had invited the Sharad Pawar-led party to stake claim to form the government.

"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."

NCP leader Ajit Pawar spoke to the media soon after reports claimed that the Maharashtra governor has invited the NCP to stake the claim to form the government in the state. Pawar said that a delegation of party leaders, including Chhagan Bhujbal, is going to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

He also said, "We dont know why we are being invited to form the government, I don't know the agenda, we are going to talk to the governor now."

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday kept the ball rolling in the political situation in Maharashtra and has invited the Sharad Pawar-led NCP to form govt after the Shiv Sena failed to prove the support from other parties, says report.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Monday issued a statement clarifying that the Shiv Sena's demand for an extention of the deadline to stake claim to form the government was rejected because the party hadn't been able to provide the "requisite letters of support" from the Congress and NCP.

"A delegation of the Shiv Sena met the Governor and expressed its willingness to form the government. However, they couldn't submit the requisite letters of support.They submitted a letter requesting a three-day extension for submitting the letters of support. The Governor has expressed inability to give further extension," the statement said.

Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray briefed the media on the party's discussion with Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Monday. He said that within 24 hours of receiving a letter to stake claim to form the government from the governor, they had held talks with the Congress and NCP on possibility of extending support.

"We are tet to get a letter of support from Congress, NCP. But we have expressed our willingness to form the government in Maharashtra to the governor. We have sought two more days to stake the claim, and though the governor has rejected the request in person, it has not been rejected on paper," he said.

With the CWC meeting chaired by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi having concluded, the party has reportedly decided to offer "outside support" to the Shiv Sena and NCP in forming the government in Maharashtra.

Sources were quoted by ANI as saying that th eCongress will support Shiv Sena and NCP, both the parties have been informed. "Final proceedings are being done," the statement said.

Reports also quoted Congress leader KC Venugopal as saying that a letter of support to the Shiv Sena hasn't been sent yet, even as Shiv Sena leaders are currently at the Raj Bhavan to meet the Maharashtra governor.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena is likely to ask Mahrashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari for an extention of 24 hours on the deadline given to stake claim to form the government. A multi-car convoy of Shiv Sena leaders has just reached the Raj Bhavan for a meeting with the governor, reports said.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Congress who is considering joining the Shiv Sena in a coalition government, has demanded that a senior member of the Shiv Sena be instituted as the chief minister.

The alliance between the Shiv Sena and BJP broke down in the days since the Assembly election results were declared, on the former's demand that there should be a rotational chief minister's post in the state.

The Congress, after a crucial CWC meeting chaired by interim president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, is likely to offer "outside support" to the Shiv Sena on forming the government in Maharashtra, India Today reported.

The report said that Sonia is not in favour of being part of the government which is what its ally NCP chief Sharad Pawar was batting for, but has indicated willingness to offer outside support to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi reportedly spoke to the party's Maharashtra MLAs who are lodged in a Jaipur hotel amid the political crisis in the state. Sonia is also currently chairing a crucial CWC meeting to take a decision on whether the party should support the Shiv Sena in forming the government.

Amid the political crisis in Maharashtra, reports claimed that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray reached out to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi even as the CWC meeting is currently underway.

According to India Today, Thackeray has asked for Sonia's support to form the government ahead of the party's appointment with the state governor at 7.30 pm. Thackeray on Monday also met Congress ally, NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has also reached interim party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence in Delhi for the senior party leader's meeting on the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra.

The party is expected to take a decision on whether to support Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena for its claim to form the government after the BJP, which won the most seats in the October election, said it was unable to prove majority.

The Congress, with its ally NCP, is likely to decide on whether to support the Shiv Sena ahead of the latter's appointment with Maharashtra governor at 7.30 pm on Monday.

Former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo Deve Gowda on Monday weighed in on the political impasse in Maharashtra, which is playing out similar to the situation that occurred in Gowda's home state of Karnataka after the Assembly election in 2018.

The JD(U) had formed a coalition government with the Congress after BS Yediyurappa-led BJP in the state had failed to prove its majority. With JD(U)'s HD Kumaraswamy as the chief minister, the coalition government was in power for a little over a year before it fell after it was hit by mass resignations of MLAs. Currently, Yediyurappa is at the helm of a BJP government in the state.

On Monday, Gowda commented on the possibility of the Congress-NCP alliance lending support to Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, whose demand for a rotational chief minister's post has put it at loggerheads with its long-time ally, the BJP.

"If Congress gives support to Shiv Sena, they should not disturb it for the next five years. Only then people will trust the Congress," Gowda said.

"Bala Saheb gave a place to the BJP in Maharashtra, LK Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee had gone to Bala Saheb's residence and requested him for seats. The BJP overrode that, that's why Uddhav Thackeray has taken a stand that he will teach them a lesson. Now, it's for Congress and NCP to put down BJP," he added.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who has been at the forefront of the "junior ally"s "belligerent" demand of a rotational chief minister's post after the Maharashtra Assembly election in October, is reportedly admitted to the Lilavati hospital. However, the ANI report said more details were awaited.

Senior members of the Maharashtra Congress are scheduled to meet party MLAs at 4 pm even as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar concluded amid a situation of tumult in the state's politics.

After the NCP’s core committee meet held in Mumbai concluded, party leader Nawab Malik said that they will wait for their Maha-aghadi ally to take their decision on supporting the Shiv Sena in a meeting to be held with senior Maharashtra Congress leaders at 4 pm in Delhi.

With the Congress meeting underway in Delhi to discuss the situation in Maharashtra, a party source told CNN-News18 that state leaders Milind Deora and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan are in support of an alliance with the Shiv Sena. Sources said that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has emerged as the frontrunner for the post of the chief minister. It was also reported there is a possibility of two deputy chief ministers – one from NCP and one from Congress.

Shiv Sena will hand over a letter of support to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at 2.30 pm. During the meeting, Shiv Sena delegation, to be led by Eknath Shinde, is likely to seek time to prove majority. Later, a high level meet is scheduled to take place at the Sena Bhavan.

In a press conference held after a meeting of Shiv Sena leaders, Sanjay Raut addressed a press conference where he blamed the BJP for not keeping its word on the 50:50 alliance formula. Holding the BJP responsible for the political crisis in Maharashtra, Raut said the saffron party has insulted people’s mandate by agreeing to sitting in the Opposition rather than following the agreed formula to give the state a stable government. He also hit out at the saffron party for ignoring allies in other states as well.

Sixteen days after the Maharashtra Assembly election results, the unfolding events took another spin as the single-largest party and the major partner of the winning alliance, Bharatiya Janata Party, declared that it was unable to form the government.

The BJP informed Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari of its decision, after the latter had invited the party to show its 'willingness and ability' to form the government in state. Following procedure, Koshyari has now invited the Shiv Sena, the second largest party, to stake claim to power.

Announcing the BJP's decision, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, which is adamant on its demand for a rotational chief ministership, of "disrespecting" the popular mandate secured by the BJP and the Sena in the recent Assembly polls.

"The mandate of the people of Maharashtra was for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. Sena has, however, disrespected the mandate, hence we have decided to not stake claim to form government. We have informed our decision to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari," Patil told reporters outside Raj Bhavan.

He wished "good luck" to the Sena if it wanted to form the government with the help of Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.

Sena, meanwhile, has maintained that it will install its chief minister at all costs.

The Congress has so far remained wary of making any concrete comments and is currently holding consultations. Senior NCP leader Nawab Malik said the party will take a decision only after the Sena walks out of the NDA and gives a formal proposal seeking support to form a government.

The Maha story so far

The BJP and the Sena had together won 161 seats in the 288-member House, well above the halfway mark of 145. However, the trouble between the allies started after 24 October when the results were announced. Upon discovering that the BJP (105) could not secure the majority (145) by itself, the Sena asserted its claim over the chief minister's post. Sena claimed that the BJP had promised it an equal share in power before Lok Sabha election, which, it said, meant that notwithstanding its seat share (56), it was entitled to chief minister's post for half the term of the elected Assembly. The BJP, however, denied having agreed to such an arrangement.

The Sena continued its attack on its ally of 30 years, while flirting with Sharad Pawar's NCP. It did not hold talks with BJP even once, while Sena's senior leader Raut visited Pawar twice and dialed up his nephew Ajit Pawar too, as per the latter's claim. Uddhav later accepted to have suspended talks because BJP had outright denied that the parties had ever agreed upon a 50:50 power sharing formula. "We do not do business with those who make it seem like we are liars. Nobody has ever called the Thackeray family a liar," Uddhav had told reporters after Fadnavis' tirade against his party.

Fadnavis had accused Sena of jeopardising the alliance, stating that he was hurt and shocked by Sena's changed demeanour after the elections. On Sena's statement that the mandate was against Fadnavis, the caretaker chief minister subtly highlighted that his party had a better strike rate than Sena.

Fadnavis said BJP’s "strike rate" was better in 2019 than in 2014. "We contested 260 seats in 2014 and won 47 percent seats and 28 percent votes. In 2019, we contested 150 seats. We won 70 percent of seats and 26 percent votes," he said.

Sena, which contested alone in 2014, won 63 out of 282 seats with a strike rate of 22.34 percent. In 2019, it fought on 126 seats and won 56 with a strike rate of 45 percent.

Where do other players stand?

Congress, which had been watching the show from the sidelines for the first time showed signs of the intent for an alliance.

While senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said his party did not want President's Rule in the state, another party leader Milind Deora hinted at his support for an alliance with Sena by stating that NCP and Congress should try to form the government since the BJP has failed. An 'attempt' such as the one suggested by Deora is mathematically impossible without the Sena's support to the Maha-agadhi alliance.

Sanjay Nirupam was the only voice in Congress who openly opposed an alliance with Sena based on ideological differences. Nirupam said "it seems the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has broken", and that he would urge his party leadership not to encourage government formation with the Sena's help as it will "not be a stable government" and both the Congress and NCP will suffer.

On its part, the NCP has also taken a cautious route. While on one hand, NCP's national chief Pawar kept insisting that NCP is content to sit in the Opposition, party's state president Nawab Malik dropped ample hints that if Sena was ready to sever all ties with BJP, there may be scope for an alternative arrangement. Congress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday met the party's newly elected MLAs from Maharashtra, who are staying at a resort in Jaipur, to discuss the political situation in the state while NCP chief Sharad Pawar met some of his party leaders in Mumbai.

A senior Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has deputed two observers to hold discussions with the MLAs in Jaipur on what stand the party should take in view of the impasse on government formation.

"The Congress has to decide if it wants to stop the BJP in Maharashtra or whether it doesn't care if the BJP is able to form a government. An alternative government can be formed only with Congress' support," he said.

He also said that Congress General Secretary Mallikarjun Kharge held informal talks with the Maharashtra Congress MLAs in Jaipur in the morning.

He also brushed aside suggestions that the governor could invite the Congress-NCP for government formation as the 'second largest' alliance, claiming no such provision existed in the Sarkaraia Commission's recommendations.

In another development, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also held a meeting with some of his party leaders in Mumbai. Refusing to speak on a "non-BJP alliance", Pawar said he would react only to Congress' official statement.

"I cannot go by news reports about the decision of the Congress. I will react only when the Congress officially informs me about its decision," Pawar told reporters.

With inputs from agencies



November 12, 2019 at 05:57PM

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