Maharashtra govt formation Updates: Sonia Gandhi to chair Congress core group meeting tomorrow, NCP given deadline till 8.30 pm to stake claim - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Monday, 11 November 2019

Maharashtra govt formation Updates: Sonia Gandhi to chair Congress core group meeting tomorrow, NCP given deadline till 8.30 pm to stake claim

22:51 (IST)

Gautam Gambhir slams Shiv Sena for political situation in Maharashtra

Cricketer-turned-politician and Lok Sabha MP Gautam Gambhir on Monday slammed Shiv Sena for walking out of the alliance with BJP and said that they can't have the Chief Minister post in Maharashtra by winning only 56 seats.

"It is unfair for people of Maharashtra have given the mandate to NDA alliance as what Shiv Sena is doing you can't have a chief minister with 56 seats. Probably, they will now have to take support from its biggest critics. If they end up doing that, this is going to be the last nail in the coffin of Shiv Sena," he told ANI.

"Hopefully, BJP will emerge even stronger in Maharashtra. Fadnavis has done a fabulous job in the last five years and the BJP emerged as the single largest party. Now, they (Shiv Sena) is trying to achieve power by hook or crook," Gautam Gambhir added.

22:50 (IST)

Sonia Gandhi to chair Congress core group meeting tomorrow

A meeting of the Congress core group is reportedly scheduled for Tuesday at interim president Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi, during which senior leaders are likely to deliberate over the ongoing political crisis in Maharashtra.

Despite marathon meetings on Monday on whether to support the Shiv Sena in a stake to form the government in the state, the party was indecisive on whether to follow its ally NCP in lending support to the Uddhav Thackeray-led saffron party.

Tuesday's meeting assumes significance because with the Shiv Sena unable to prove support to form a stable government, Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited the NCP to stake a claim.

22:39 (IST)

Political analysts slam major parties for political crisis

Political pundits on Monday began to dissect and analyse the crisis situation in Maharashtra with the two largest parties — BJP and Shiv Sena — failing to form a state government, two weeks after the Assembly election results were announced.

On Monday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena was in a flurry of activity to convince the NCP and Congress to support it in a stake to form the government. But "in-principle" support from the Opposition allies notwithstanding, the requisite letters of support didn't arrive, causing the Sena to lapse on the deadline set by Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

22:10 (IST)

Maharashtra governor says 'no party has come forward to form govt' two weeks after results

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."

22:00 (IST)

Twiteratti, journalist take potshots at Shiv Sena, NCP over 'Maha' mess

As the political drama in Maharashtra got exponentially muddled on Monday with the latest development being Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's invitation to the NCP to stake claim to form the government, journalist and netizens took to Twitter to express their bewilderment over the turn of events.

A hashtag '#TumSENAhopayega' also started trending on Twitter.

21:45 (IST)

Wait and watch: BJP on political situation in Maharashtra

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'."

21:33 (IST)

Jayant Patil briefs media after meeting with governor

NCP leader Jayant Patil said, "As per the procedure, the Governor has given us the letter (to stake claim to form govt ) being the third largest party in Maharashtra. We suggested him that we'll have to talk to our allies and we'll get back to him as early as possible. Deadline is 8.30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday)."

21:26 (IST)

NCP says will talk to allies after meeting with governor

NCP said that the party will talk to its allies, notably the Congress, on the formation of a government in Maharashtra, after a meeting with the Maharashtra governor on Monday evening. NCP leader Jayant Patil said that the party would only be able to make a decision after talking to its allies.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had invited the Sharad Pawar-led party to stake claim to forming the government after the Shiv Sena, which is the second largest party after the October polls, failed to provide the "requisite papers of support" to prove that it could cobble together a stable coalition government,.

21:05 (IST)

NCP delegation reaches Raj Bhavan for meeting with governor

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."

20:43 (IST)

Don't know why Governor called us, says NCP's Ajit Pawar 

Soon after reports claimed that the Maharashtra governor has invited the NCP to stake the claim to form the government in the state, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that the party leaders were confused as to why had the Governor invited them. "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." Pawar said that a delegation of party leaders, including Chhagan Bhujbal, is going to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

20:39 (IST)

NCP briefs media

20:36 (IST)

Shiv Sena's effort to form coalition govt fails

All through Monday, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena was in a frenzy to cobble up a coalition government with the Congress-NCP Opposition alliance, but failed to provide the requisite letters of support before the governor's 7.30 pm deadline. Even though the party asked for a 48-hour deadline, the governor rejected it and has invited the NCP to stake the claim to form the government.

20:35 (IST)

Bhagat Singh Koshyari invites NCP to form govt after Shiv Sena fails

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday evening invited the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the party with the third largest tally of seats in the October Assembly election, to stake claim to form the government after both the parties before it — BJP and Shiv Sena — failed to meet the required conditions to stake claim.

20:25 (IST)

Maharashtra governor invites NCP to form govt

20:20 (IST)

No further extention to the Shiv Sena: Maharashtra governor

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.

20:09 (IST)

BJP to hold press conference at 8 pm

Amid the Shiv Sena's frenzy to patch up a coalition government with the Congress-NCP Opposition alliance in Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led saffron party's pre-poll ally, the BJP is likely to hold a press conference weighing in on the developments at 8 pm.

The BJP and Shiv Sena, who contested the October election together, have been engaged in a stand-off over the latter's demand for a rotational chief minister's post ever since the results were declared on 24 October. In a rapidly developing crisis in the state, the Shiv Sena refused to budge from the demand, causing its "senior ally" and the party with the highest number of seats, to be unable to stake claim to form the government.

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Sunday then asked the Shiv Sena to form the government.

19:58 (IST)

Mallikarjun Kharge, Prithviraj Chauhan say 'enough time' to take stand

The Congress has issued a statement after a conclusion of the CWC meeting on the Maharashtra political crisis on Monday. Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Prithviraj Chauhan reiterated the comments made in the statement and said that "no decision has been taken yet".

"We have already issued a press note and we have mentioned that there will further discussion with NCP will take place tomorrow (Tuesday)," Kharge said.

Meanwhile Chauhan said that the party was waiting for the governor's decision. "There is plenty of time, we will take a decision after the governor's decision," he added.

19:47 (IST)

Congress leaders brief media after CWC meet

19:45 (IST)

Have expressed willingness to form govt: Aaditya Thackeray

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.

19:38 (IST)

Shiv Sena briefing on govt formation begins

19:31 (IST)

Shiv Sena leaders meet Maharashtra governor

An entire convoy of Shiv Sena leaders met Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Monday evening, as the drama of the political crisis in Maharashtra continued to unfold.

19:28 (IST)

Two AIMIM MLAs will not support Shiv Sena-NCP govt: Asaduddin Owaisi

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed the Congress, NCP, and Shiv Sena on Monday as reports said that the three parties would tie up in various capacities to form the next government in Maharashtra. Owaisi, said that the two MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly will not be supporting the "Shiv Sena-Congress government". He added, "A letter to the same effect will be sent to the Governor of Maharashtra briefly."

19:04 (IST)

No decision on letter of support to Sena yet: KC Venugopal

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 Congress is likely to issue a statement on the decision soon, said reports.

19:02 (IST)

Congress CWC meeting in Delhi ends

The crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) in Delhi has reportedly ended at the residence of party interim president Sonia Gandhi, to deliberate on whether to extend support to the Shiv Sena in forming the government in Maharashtra. Reports said that the party is likely to offer outside support to the possible coalition between the Shiv Sena and the NCP.

Senior leaders AK Antony, KC Venugopal have left the meeting. CNN-News18 reported that Sonia is likely to have another telephonic conversation with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on the modalities of offering outside support to the party.

18:52 (IST)

Congress likely to set conditions for Maharashtra Speaker's post, says report

The Congress is likely to set conditions on the position of the Maharashtra Speaker's post, India Today reported, amid speculation that the Sonia Gandhi-led party offering outside support to the Shiv Sena in forming a government in the state.

18:41 (IST)

Shiv Sena to ask Maharashtra guv for 24 hours extention

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.

18:22 (IST)

Sonia Gandhi speaks to Sharad Pawar on supporting coalition

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi spoke to NCP chief Sharad Pawar on supporting the "coalition" government with the Shiv Sena.

18:18 (IST)

Congress leadership at odds with Maharashtra MLAs over 'ideological differences'

Reportedly, the Congress leadership, who was part of a CWC meeting at interim party president Sonia Gandhi to decide whether to support the Shiv Sena in forming a government in Maharashtra, is not in favour of joining the state government but has reportedly considered offering support from the outside. However, the newly-elected MLAs of the party in the state are "keen" to provide support and "become part of the government formation.

Congress ally NCP chief Sharad Pawar has also been batting for the party to support the Shiv Sena. "With the Congress having numerous ideologial differences with the Shiv Sena, senior members of the party are keen to (only) provide outside support to the Sena," News18 reported.

18:06 (IST)

Congress to offer outside support to Shiv Sena, claims report

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.

The report also said that Sonia was sceptical of "conceding the entire Opposition space" to the BJP.

17:56 (IST)

Aaditya Thackeray, Eknath Shinde leave Matoshree for Raj Bhavan

Shiv Sena leaders Aaditya Thackeray and Eknath Shinde have left for the Raj Bhavan to meet Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, reports said. The governor has given the Uddhav Thackeray-led party until 7.30 pm to stake claim to form the government amid a continued political crisis in the state.

Reports said that the leaders are likely to ask the governor to extend the deadline as the Congress has not officially extended its support to the saffron party yet.

17:41 (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.

17:34 (IST)

Sonia Gandhi speaks to MLAs in Jaipur

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.

17:30 (IST)

Maharashtra should get govt soon for public welfare: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Senior Congress leader and its chairman of the screening committee for the Maharashtra elections, Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Monday said the state must get a government soon to carry out people's works. "It is important for the people of Maharashtra to have a government so as to carry out public works," he said.

"I don't want to comment on this (Congress' role in government formation) as discussions are underway. The mandate was for the BJP-Shiv Sena but at the moment there is a strange situation," he said.

17:21 (IST)

BJP meeting at CM residence to begin soon

Amid an increasingly tumultous political crisis in Maharashtra, senior BJP leaders like state president Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Ashish Shelar have arrived at Varsha, the chief minister's residence in Mumbai, The Indian Express reported. The meeting is likely to begin soon.

17:07 (IST)

Uddhav Thackeray reaches out to Sonia Gandhi, seeks support for govt formation

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.

16:59 (IST)

Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan also present at CWC meeting

Senior Congress leaders Mukul Wasnik, Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat, Rajiv Satav and Manikrao Thackre are also present in the Congress Working Committee meeting at party president Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi.

Political analysts said that even though the Congress is in fourth place with 44 seats in the October election, the party is playing the role of the kingmaker currently, with its ally NCP insisting that a decision on whether to support the Shiv Sena on forming government in Maharashtra will only be taken with the Congress' support.

16:51 (IST)

BJP takes potshot at Shiv Sena over talks with NCP-Congress alliance

BJP MP Meenakshi took a jibe at the Shiv Sena amid the political crisis in Maharashtra on Monday. The Congress meeting presided over by party president Sonia Gandhi on whether to support the Shiv Sena to form the government in the state is reportedly underway in Delhi.

16:37 (IST)

Mallikarjun Kharge also arrives, CWC meeting begins 

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.

16:29 (IST)

Sanjay Raut admitted to Lilavati hospital

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. 

PTI quoted an official of the hospital as saying, "Raut visited the Lilavati Hospital after he complained for slight chest pain. He is being treated by Dr Jaleel Parkar."
 
"Raut came to the hospital two days back also for a routine check-up. An ECG (electrocardiogram test) was then done followed by some check-ups. Based on the ECG report, doctors advised him to come to the hospital today for further tests," he said.
 
He may be discharged tomorrow, the Rajya Sabha member's brother and Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Raut said.

16:27 (IST)

Senior Congress leaders arrive for second CWC meeting

Congress leaders AK Antony and Ahmed Patel have arrived Conrgess interim president Sonia Gandhi's residence for the second CWC meeting on the political crisis in Maharashtra.

The party's Maharashtra leaders have been called to Delhi for further discussions over the political situation in Maharashtra, the meeting to be held shortly.

15:46 (IST)

Deve Gowda says Congress 'shouldn't disturb' Shiv Sena if it extends support

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.

15:14 (IST)

Arvind Sawant tweeted an image of his resignation letter


In the letter, Arvind Sawant blamed the BJP for not respecting the 50:50 formula and betraying the Shiv Sena's trust.

15:10 (IST)

What happens till the Maharashtra government formation?

  • The Governor can delay President’s Rule. No new oaths can be taken during this period.
  • None of the newly-elected MLAs can be sworn in, neither can the House Speaker be elected.
  • The Governor can invite the single largest party or coalition to form the government, followed by a floor test.
  • Even if President’s Rule is imposed, fresh elections are to be held six months later.
  • The governor can also send a message to all legislators to elect their leader by way of voting.

14:17 (IST)

Shiv Sena to meet governor at 5 pm to stake claim to form government


The Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, will meet Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at 5 pm to stake claim to form the government.

The meeting will come only an hour after the Congress will meet its MLAs from the state at 4 pm in Delhi. CNN-News18 reported that Shiv Sena leaders, including Arvind Sawant, Anil Desai and Milind Narvekar, met Congress' Ahmed Patel.

14:08 (IST)

Meeting between NCP, Shiv Sena's top leaders ends


Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray met Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar at the Taj Land's End hotel in Mumbai.

The meeting, which lasted for around 40 minutes, was the first one between Sharad Pawar and the Thackerays ever since the beginning of the political crisis in Maharashtra following the 24 October Assembly election results.

14:04 (IST)

BJP’s betrayal hurt Thackeray pride, say Arvind Sawant


Addressing a press conference in Delhi at 1.30 pm, lone union minister from Shiv Sena Arvind Sawant announced his resignation from the Cabinet.

“After the Lok Sabha polls, a 50:50 alliance formula was decided upon, including for the chief minister’s position. The BJP denying this is an insult to the trust and respect between the parties. The alliance does not exist anymore,” Sawant said, while showing a copy of his resignation letter to mediapersons.

Talking about how the BJP’s betrayal hurt the Thackeray pride, Sawant said that it would not be appropriate personally and politically for him to continue as a minister.

13:34 (IST)

BJP's strategy behind daring Shiv Sena to form govt with NCP-Congress in Maharashtra​


BJP’s assertion that it does not have the numbers to form the government in Maharashtra may show the Shiv Sena in poor light, and senior BJP leaders have said that this strategy might work in the favour of the "senior ally". A senior BJP leader told The Indian Express, “The BJP will be more than pleased to see the Sena forming the government with Congress and NCP. This would put it in an awkward position every time an issue of Hindutva comes up. Moreover, the BJP will emerge as the sole party with a Hindutva agenda.”

The political crisis in Maharashtra, which is seeming more and more what unfolded in Karnataka and Goa earlier, could give rise to a similar possibility of mid-term elections. Additionally, Shiv Sena breaking ties with its decades-old ally would raise questions.

13:24 (IST)

Arvind Sawant to address media, Sena to call upon governor, other important events


1.30 pm: Arvind Sawant to address press conference.
2.30 pm: Shiv Sena to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.
4 pm: Congress meeting with party MLAs from Maharashtra/
7.30 pm: Deadline given to Shiv Sena for government formation.

13:13 (IST)

Maharashtra Congress MLAs leave from Jaipur


Maharashtra Congress MLAs, who were shifted to a resort in Jaipur since 9 November owing to fears of poaching, left for Delhi to attend a 4 pm meeting, CNN-News18 reported.

13:06 (IST)

Uddhav Thackeray to meet Sharad Pawar shortly


After a meeting of NCP's core committee, where it was decided that the party will wait for Congress' decision on lending support to the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray left his residence Matoshree to meet Sharad Pawar.

NCP emerged as the third largest party in Maharashtra following the 21 October Assembly polls.

Maharashtra govt formation LATEST Updates: 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 11, 2019 at 10:54PM

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