The Congress in Maharashtra on Thursday accused the BJP of trying to lure away newly-elected opposition MLAs and blamed the saffron party for delay in government formation in the state. State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat claimed the BJP has got in touch with MLAs from the opposition camp. He said the state and its farmers are suffering due to the ongoing tussle between the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena over the shape of the next government.
Addressing a press conference here, Thorat alleged the BJP was using the same tactics to wean away legislators that it deployed to get leaders from other parties to switch sides ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly polls. In the run up to the October 21 assembly elections, opposition Congress and the NCP were hit by large-scale desertions. Thorat sought to know from the BJP, the single largest party, why it did not stake claim to form government when its leaders met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday.
"We were waiting for the good news," he said, referring to BJP leader and minister Sudhir Mungantiwar's remarks about the state soon getting "good news" in context of government formation.
The former Congress minister blamed the BJP for delay in government formation in Maharashtra, where assembly poll results were announced two weeks ago. "The BJP can't handle allies and honour its commitment. The issue is power struggle between the two allies (BJP and Shiv Sena). But the state and its farmers are suffering due to this," he added. Asked if Maharashtra Congress leaders are in the national capital to convince the central leadership on the need to keep the BJP out of power, Thorat said, "Congressmen from the state regularly go to Delhi to put forth their views. Now too, some may have gone."
The BJP and the Sena are locked in a tussle over the issue of the chief minister's post, resulting in a stalemate in government formation. In the last month's polls to the 288-member House, the BJP won 105 seats, the Shiv Sena-56, the NCP-54 and the Congress 44.