Maharashtra awaits government, Shiv Sena eyes NCP-Congress, BJP says still in race

"We are in no hurry. We will hold discussions with Congress and then take a decision to support Shiv Sena," said NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Maharashtra awaits government, Shiv Sena eyes NCP-Congress, BJP says still in race

Amid political logjam in Maharashtra and imposition of President's Rule, hectic parleys between different political parties have once again begun for the formation of government in the state. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his approval to President's Rule and signed the notification following the recommendation of the Union Cabinet, which acted on the report from Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Tuesday evening once again witnessed renewed efforts among the political parties to muster the numbers. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress have said that they will make an announcement post detailed discussion on the Maharashtra power struggle. NCP and Congress maintained that it will take time for them to firm up a working relationship with the Shiv Sena. 

"We are in no hurry. We will hold discussions with Congress and then take a decision to support Shiv Sena," said NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

He was supported by Congress leader Ahmed Patel. "We will hold discussions with Shiv Sena after we hold discussions with our ally."

Flaying the Centre and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),  Ahmed Patel added, "The way President's Rule was recommended, I condemn it. This government has violated the SC guidelines on President's Rule on several occasions in the last 5 years."

NCP leader Praful Patel pointed out that Shiv Sena approached the two parties formally for support only on November 11.

Speaking to media persons, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that while his party was with the BJP for over 25  years, but now his party has to go with the Congress-NCP.

On the renewed efforts for government formation in Mahrashtra, he admitted "It's politics. Six months time has been given. I didn't end the BJP option, it was the BJP itself which did that." He further said, "We formally requested Congress-NCP for their support to form the government yesterday (Monday, November 11). We needed 48 hours, but the Governor didn't give us time."

Uddhav, however, added that the BJP is still contacting him through unofficial channels to join hands to form the government in Maharashtra. "They keep making vague and different offers each time. But we have decided to go with the Congress-NCP combine," he declared.

Narayan Rane, former chief minister of Maharashtra, however, gave a new twist to the ongoing political tussle. "The BJP will try to form the government. Devendra Fadnavis is putting in all efforts in this regard. I am now with the BJP and I will do everything I can to ensure the BJP comes to power again."

Speaking to reporters after the BJP Core Committee meeting held at Varsha Bungalow, the official residence of the Chief Minister of the state, Rane did not confirm whether he was in touch with leaders from the opposition factions but added that as per the recent statements issued by the Congress and NCP, it felt like the two parties were trying to lure and trick Shiv Sena.

"We all know who is responsible for the delay and the President's Rule. They should have stood by their words and should not have done what they have done. A `Yuti` was promised before polls and that promise should have been honoured," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

BJP leader Sudhir Mugantiwar also said that President's Rule is definitely something unexpected. "We will certainly try to ensure that people's mandate is respected. We will try to form a stable government. We will stand by the people of the state."

Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis in a press note said that President's Rule is unfortunate but BJP expects the state will get a stable government soon.

The Shiv Sena, however, filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the governor’s decision to not extend the time given to the party to prove majority.