Amid the logjam over government formation in Maharashtra, Congress Rajya Sabha member Hussain Dalwai met senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in Mumbai on Wednesday. Dalwai later told PTI he had a "positive discussion" with Raut, and that the Congress and NCP should work to keep the BJP out of power.
He last week wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying the party should support a Shiv Sena-led government in the state. On Wednesday, Dalwai met Raut at the office of Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' here for about 30 minutes.
"The Congress and NCP should take all necessary steps to keep the BJP out of power. I had a very positive discussion with Raut," Dalwai said after the meeting.
Raut is also a Rajya Sabha member and executive editor of 'Saamana'. The meeting assumes significance as there has been no headway in government formation in the state after results of the Assembly polls were declared on October 24. The term of the existing state Assembly expires on November 9.
The BJP, which won 105 seats, and the Shiv Sena, which bagged 56 seats, are locked in a bitter tussle over sharing of the chief minister's post and ministerial portfolios in new government, even 13 days after the Assembly poll verdict handed them enough seats to cobble up a coalition government.
They won 161 seats together in the 288-member House, much above the halfway mark of 145. Besides, the opposition NCP won 54 seats while the Congress got 44 seats. The Shiv Sena has demanded a written assurance from the BJP over implementation of an "agreement" arrived at on sharing the chief minister's post. However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has denied that any such proposal was agreed upon.