Even as the state of Maharashtra remains without a government after 15 days since the assembly election results have been announced, the Congress party has levelled charges of horse-trading on the BJP. Amid tussle between the Mahayuti alliance partners, Congress' Vijay Vadettiwar on Friday said that BJP is trying to break Congress MLAs. Another Congress leader Husain Dalwai said that his party will not let the BJP form the government in Maharashtra. With political crisis in the state, resort politics have also begun with the Shiv Sena reportedly sending its MLAs to Hotel Rangasharda and Congress sending its MLAs to a hotel in Jaipur.
In a sensational charge, sources informed that Vadettiwar has alleged that Congress MLAs are getting calls and confirmed that MLAs have gone to Jaipur. However, he has added that 'it is a personal picnic by the MLAs'. "Our MLAs are safe in their place and we will not let any MLA go anywhere. We have not moved any MLAs anywhere. MLAs must have gone by their own for their personal tour. If they’ve gone together, it’s a picnic organized by themself. The High Command will decide whatever is right in Maharashtra," he said.
Meanwhile, exuding confidence that the Congress MLAs will follow the party high command's direction, Dalwai while speaking to news agency ANI said: "All Congress MLAs are together. No MLA will break away from the party. MLAs will follow what party high command. We'll not allow BJP to form the government in the state. National Congress Party (NCP) is our ally, they are with us. People have voted for us to save Maharashtra." He added, "I am fully sure that BJP will not be able to poach our MLAs.Some Congress leaders who defected before elections are planning to return.
Earlier on Thursday, Shiv Sena leader Abdul Sattar revealed that the party was planning to send its MLAs to a resort — Hotel Rangasharda, amid alleged poaching attempts. However, Sena's Sanjay Raut dismissed such reports. On the other hand, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has repeatedly ruled out a coalition with Shiv Sena saying, 'We have the mandate to sit in Opposition'. Meanwhile, BJP ally and RPI chief, Ramdas Athawale has said that BJP chief Amit Shah has no plans of interfering in the deadlock, leaving the state leaders to solve the tussle themselves.
While Shiv Sena has reiterated that it will accept only the 50:50 formula, BJP has denied of ever having agreed to such a formula reportedly offering 13 cabinet portfolios to Sena while keeping 26 for its ministers. Apart from Sena's portfolio demand, the party has demanded a sharing of 2.5 years in the CM post too ; this has been refused by CM Devendra Fadnavis, stating, 'The next govt will be formed under a BJP CM.' With no respite to the deadlock, Sena has been eyeing to gain support of the NCP-Congress alliance. The BJP too has been gaining Independent MLAs support to fortify its position.
The saffron alliance swept Maharashtra on October 24, winning a combined tally of 161 (BJP- 105, Sena -56) to award CM Devendra Fadnavis a second term. But the comeback of the 'Maha- Agadhi' alliance (NCP-Congress) took the Mahayuti by surprise as the NCP bagged 54 seats while the languishing Congress too bagged 44 seats. Though the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance will form the next government, it was handed a diminished mandate compared to 2014 where it won 185 seats.