NCP gets governor's invite after Shiv Sena fails to cobble together numbers
The Shiv Sena was unable to procure letters of support from the NCP and the Congress by the deadline of 7.30 pm on Monday and the governor refused to grant it another 48 hours to prove its majority that it demanded to form a non-BJP government aft...
The Shiv Sena was unable to procure letters of support from the NCP and the Congress by the deadline of 7.30 pm on Monday and the governor refused to grant it another 48 hours to prove its majority that it demanded to form a non-BJP government after severing ties with its pre-poll ally.
“We will speak to our ally, Congress, and get back to the governor,” NCP’s state unit chief Jayant Patil told media persons outside Raj Bhavan after meeting the governor along with NCP legislature party leader Ajit Pawar and senior leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Dhananjay Munde.
The NCP and Congress are expected to hold separate meetings followed by a joint meeting on Tuesday afternoon to decide on government formation. Although the two parties can team up with their ideological adversary Shiv Sena to cross the majority mark of 145 seats and keep the BJP out of power, some of their leaders are said to be wary of such a tie-up.
Sena’s Sawant quits cabinet
With 54 seats, the NCP had finished third, behind the Shiv Sena (56 seats), while the Congress won 44 seats in the polls, which saw the BJP emerge as the single largest party with 105 seats in the 288-seat assembly. “We got the governor’s invite 24 hours ago; the BJP got more time than us (72 hours),” Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray said after meeting Koshyari. “We asked for more time as we were in talks with the two parties (Congress and NCP) for supporting us. The two parties had in principle agreed to support us. However, they have their own process, which would take two days.”
While some analysts said the state was potentially headed for President’s rule, Thackeray said the Shiv Sena’s claim was still valid and it just needed more time to prove its majority.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant announced that he would resign as Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises. This appeared to pave the way for a Shiv Sena-NCP government with outside support of the Congress since the NCP had reportedly said that it would not consider extending support to the Sena as long as it was part of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Governor Koshyari had invited the Shiv Sena after the BJP said it did not have the numbers to form the government. The two allies fell out as the Shiv Sena demanded that the BJP part with the chief minister’s post for half the term in accordance with an agreed 50:50 power-sharing formula while the BJP said there had been no such assurance from its side. Both accused the other of lying over the matter.