In a massive development after days of confusion over government formation in Maharashtra, sources on Wednesday confirmed that interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has agreed to an alliance with Shiv Sena. After rounds of talks with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and negotiations with Sena, sources said that Sonia Gandhi has finally given a nod to the alliance.
Soon after the development, NCP's Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon has spoken to Republic TV and has confirmed about the alliance. This comes even after Maharashtra Congress workers have urged party chief Sonia Gandhi to not go ahead with an alliance with the saffron party--Shiv Sena. As per reports, the state leadership of the Congress party had earlier written to the party chief saying the same.
Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday refused to comment on the progress being made in the formation of a new government in Maharashtra. Her response came as Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut exuded confidence that a government led by his party will be in place by next month in Maharashtra. Addressing the media, Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday morning said, "The process to form the government will complete in the next 5-6 days and a popular and strong government will be formed in Maharashtra before December. The process is going on."
After the assembly elections, the Mahayuti alliance partners - BJP and Shiv Sena had a fallout over the chief minister's position in the State. The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena said that the chief minister's position should be equally divided between the parties as per the 50:50 formula. However, BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis denied any such formula. Both parties are now eyeing to form the next government separately in Maharashtra -which is currently under President's rule.
The Mahayuti alliance swept Maharashtra on October 24, winning a combined tally of 161 (BJP- 105, Sena -56), while the NCP won 54 seats and Congress secured 45 seats.