Maharashtra Government Formation Live Updates: Congress leaders visit Sanjay Raut in hospital

Maharashtra Government Formation Live Updates: Congress leaders visit Sanjay Raut in hospital :- It’s been more than two weeks that Maharashtra state election results were announced but uncertainty still prevails over the state government formation. After BJP, the single-largest party got invite to form the government on Saturday and refused to stake a claim, its ally Shiv Sena also failed Governor’s deadline on Monday. Now Sharad Pawar’s NCP, the third-largest party has got a deadline till 8:30 pm today.

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Reluctant to form an alliance with the Shiv Sena, NCP ally Congress had kept it waiting. “We will get back to you,” Sonia Gandhi reportedly told Uddhav Thackeray, who, sources said, had made “numerous calls” as the two ideologically mismatched parties tried to collaborate.

The Sena had set the stage for talks on Monday morning after pulling out its lone minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Arvind Sawant, signaling its break-up with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The BJP and Shiv Sena failed to resolve a feud that began hours after they won a clear majority in last month’s Maharashtra election. Sixteen days after the Maharashtra Assembly election results, Bharatiya Janata Party declared that it was unable to form the government.

Announcing the BJP’s decision, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil said, “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 the government. We have informed our decision to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.”

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As the 7.30 pm deadline ended for Shiv Sena, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday night invited the NCP asking it to express “willingness and ability to form the government”. State unit NCP president Jayant Patil said that the party will discuss the issue with Congress and get back to the governor by 8:30 pm on Tuesday.

Earlier on Sunday night, the Governor had asked the Shiv Sena to “indicate the willingness and ability” of the party to stake a claim, hours after its pre-poll partner and longtime ally BJP declined to form the government.

The Sena, the second-largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP’s 105 members, had time till 7.30 pm to stake a claim on a day marked by hectic parleys with its chief Uddhav Thackeray meeting NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and having a telephonic conversation with Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The NCP has 54 MLAs while the Congress has 44.

The Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Uddhav Thackeray, led a delegation on Monday evening to meet with the Governor. According to the Governor’s office, the Sena failed to produce letters of support and so its request for a three-day extension could not be granted. The NCP has now been invited for a shot at power.

Meanwhile, Aaditya Thackeray told reporters after meeting the Governor outside Raj Bhavan in Mumbai that his party’s claim on the formation of a government still stands, as the two parties have agreed “in-principle” to support the Sena-led government. He didn’t take names of the Congress and the NCP.

He further said, “The two parties (read NCP and Congress) need few more days to complete their procedures. Hence we sought time from the governor but he refused to grant it.”

Meanwhile, according to another Raj Bhavan statement, the Governor, today asked the leader of elected members of the third-largest party, the Nationalist Congress Party, Ajit Pawar to indicate the willingness and ability of his party to form the government in Maharashtra.”

A statement issued by party general secretary K C Venugopal said, “The Congress President has spoken to Sharad Pawarji. The party will have further discussions with the NCP. The Congress Working Committee met this morning and held a detailed discussion on the situation in Maharashtra after which consultation was held with Maharashtra Congress leaders.”

Meanwhile, Arvind Sawant said, “I have resigned as Union minister. I have sent my resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” His resignation came after Pawar said the Shiv Sena will have to first snap ties with the NDA so his party can take a call on supporting the saffron outfit.

He alleged that the BJP was resorting to “lies” by denying the agreement reached between the leaders of the two allies before the assembly elections.

The NCP has said it will decide on whether to support a Sena-led government in coordination with ally Congress. NCP leader Ajit Pawar said, “We (Congress and NCP) fought elections together. That’s why we should make the decision together. We (NCP) waited for their (Congress) letter yesterday. But we did not receive the letter by the evening. It was not right for us to give the letter. Whatever be the decision, there should be stability.”

Meanwhile, Congress legislators held a meeting with senior party leaders on the issue in Jaipur on Sunday and asserted they did not want fresh elections in the state. The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top decision-making body, has authorized party president Sonia Gandhi to take the final call.