In direct contradiction to its Maharashtra ally NCP, senior Congress leader, and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, on Tuesday, has suggested a probable alliance with Shiv Sena, according to ANI. The former CM said that while Shiv Sena has not approached the grand old party yet, he said that if such a proposal is made, it will be discussed by the High Command and Congress allies. He added that BJP-Shiv Sena must decide on their government sharing soon.
Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan: If Shiv Sena comes to us with a proposal, we will put that proposal before our high command and discuss it with the allies as well. No such proposal has been given by Shiv Sena yet. #Maharashtra— ANI (@ANI) October 29, 2019
This statement by Chavan comes in direct contradiction to NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar's statement on Friday, has confirmed that his party would sit in the opposition in the Maharashtra assembly. He ruled out any alliance with the Shiv Sena (SS). Conceding that the party did not have the numbers to form the government, he opined it would play its role as a responsible opposition.
Similarly on Thursday, as the poll results were being declared, sources had reported that Congress interim-president Sonia Gandhi had asked the leaders to give up their desperation to form the government in Maharashtra. Maintaining that BJP and Shiv Sena would stay together, she allegedly opined there was no scope for the Congress in the State. At the same time, as per the sources, she told the leaders not to reveal the party’s strategy in the open.
Meanwhile, the tussle between the saffron allies BJP and Shiv Sena reached a peak when earlier in the day, CM Devendra Fadnavis asserted that he would continue to hold the chief minister's chair, dismissing the 50:50 formula talks between the two parties. On the other hand, Sena's Raut questioned the delay in government formation despite a pre-poll alliance dragging JJP into the tussle and dismissing an NCP-BJP alliance. Earlier on Saturday, Shiv Sena issued an ultimatum to BJP stating that party chief Amit Shah and CM Devendra Fadnavis should issue a written statement assuring that the CM post will be shared equally for 2.5 years each.
Shortly after the public spat, Shiv Sena cancelled a scheduled meeting with BJP on Tuesday. Sources report that BJP president Amit Shah is set to visit Mumbai on Friday or Saturday to discuss the final decision on the formation of the new government and the portfolio sharing between the saffron allies. Meanwhile, a meeting between BJP and Shiv Sena will be held on Wednesday at 1 PM, as shared by BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil.
The saffron alliance swept Maharashtra on Thursday, 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.