Maharashtra Congress MLAs, who had been camping at a resort for the last five days amid a political impasse in their state, left for Mumbai on Wednesday. The MLAs were holed up at the luxury resort, located close to the Delhi-Jaipur national highway amid concerns of horsetrading, as the Congress remained occupied holding marathon meetings with ally NCP and Shiv Sena pertaining to the government formation in the state. Maharashtra was put under President's rule on Tuesday after the BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP failed to stake a claim.
The MLAs left the resort on a bus to the airport, from where they will travel to Mumbai in a chartered flight. During their stay at Pili Ki Talai, the MLAs were frequented by many party leaders to discuss the political situation in Maharashtra. "Our newly elected MLAs of Maharashtra were staying here for the last five days. The stay was very comfortable and they were happy with the hospitality of Rajasthan," AICC general secretary Avinash Pande told reporters before the MLAs left for Mumbai.
The resort in Jaipur became the Centres power play amid the efforts to form a government. The resort which had Congress MLAs staying in since Friday, saw frequent visits by many senior Congress leaders from Rajasthan, including Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to gauge the mood of the MLAs. The Maharashtra Congress senior leaders, including Pande, Shinde, Kharge, and Chavan left for Delhi on Monday, while the rest of them stayed in the hotel until Wednesday.
As the two ideologically contrasting political parties contemplate over an alliance, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray held a second meeting with senior Congress leaders. The meeting involving Sonia Gandhi's aides in Mumbai's Trident Hotel. After meeting with Congress state chief Balasaheb Thorat, former chief minister of the state Ashok Chavan, senior Congress leader Manikrao Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief claimed that the talks have started in the 'right direction.'
"I can say that the discussion has started and at the right time, the decision will be conveyed to you at the right time. The decision will be out soon. The talks have started in the right direction," Uddhav Thackeray told the media post the 50-minute long meet.
Apart from the Sena-Congress meeting in Mumbai, the NCP delegation of party chief Sharad Pawar, Nawab Malik, Ajit Pawar, Dhananjay Munde, and YB Chavan concurrently held a meeting in the city to decide the future course of action. A day before, senior party leader Ahmed Patel, seated next to Sharad Pawar in a press brief asserted, "No final decision can be taken about supporting Sena without first formulating the common minimum program." Both Congress and NCP have reiterated that a decision would be taken with the consensus of both parties.
(With PTI inputs)