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Sena scared of 'poaching' of MLAs by BJP: Cong

Amid the tussle between the Mahayuti constituents, Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant accused the BJP of being "morally corrupt", if the Shiv Sena feels scared that the Amit Shah-led party will poach its MLAs.

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  • Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala of the Congress attended the meeting, which also saw the presence of former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPI(M)'s T K Rangarajan, RJD leader Manoj Jha, DMK's T R Baalu, and Sharad Yadav. The leaders at the meeting were deliberating on a strategy to take on the govt.

    The Shiv Sena is the second-largest party in the 288-member House with only 56 MLAs after the BJP (105). Given the stalemate between the two alliance partners, the Congress, which stood at the fourth position by winning 44 seats in the recent Maharashtra Assembly elections, now holds the key to formation of a 'non- BJP' government in the state.

    Raut said. “We don’t understand why BJP is not forming govt or staking claim. If it is not doing so, then it does not have majority support. If they don’t want to form a govt, then they should say so. We can form a govt with a Sena CM. If the BJP has the numbers, then it should give the list of 145 MLAs to the governor and form the govt.

    Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the governor should have invited his party to indicate "willingness and ability" to form government. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde echoed a similar view, saying "once we have letters of support, the President's rule can be lifted".

    Asked if the Congress has agreed to support the Shiv Sena to form the government, he said, "If that wasn't so, we would not have held prolonged discussions in Delhi yesterday." Chavan said the state Congress leaders will meet their NCP counterparts in Mumbai later in the day to discuss the process of government formation.

    Welcoming the Supreme Court's decision allowing the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs to contest the December bypolls, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has termed the court's ruling against the "conspiracy" of the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar and Congress leader Siddaramaiah. The Supreme Court has upheld the disqualification of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs.

    The MLAs attempted to move the apex court praying for postponement of the December 5 byelection to 15 Assembly seats. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified lawmakers, prayed before the three-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana to direct the Election Commission to postpone the bypolls till the court decides the case.

    "The BJP's arrogance that it would sit in the opposition but not share the chief minister's post has led to this situation...if the BJP is not willing to implement its promise, then there is no meaning in stay with the alliance," Sanjay Raut said. He also took a dim view of the governor giving just 24 hours to the Shiv Sena.

    The lawyer representing Shiv Sena in the apex court told PTI that the party has preferred not to mention the petition. The lawyer said another petition challenging the imposition of President's rule in the state was being readied. The Shiv Sena had on Tuesday moved SC challenging the Maharashtra governor's decision but failed to get an urgent hearing.

    Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has ruled out any possibility of his returning to state politics and said the political impasse in Ma...

    Talking to reporters here ahead of the meeting of Shiv Sena MLAs with Thackeray, Raut said legislators of his party and the opposition Congr...

    The Sena is bargaining hard for an equal share in the power, which means an equal number of ministries and the rotational CM. Sena won 56 seats in the Assembly polls. Both the parties are known for making hard bargains in the past also.

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