The NCP patron Sharad Pawar has taken an astounding U-turn on the alliance with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, stirring further ambiguity over the political scenario of the state. In an interaction with media over the probable alliance with the saffron party, Pawar appeared to be absolutely clueless over the "talks" with Shiv Sena.
In a conversation with the media at the national capital, Pawar claimed that BJP-Shiv Sena and NCP-Congress are separate and walk a different path. Moreover, when questioned on Shiv Sena's declaration of a government formation with the NCP, Pawar responded saying, "Really?" He said, "What talks? Talks regarding what? There are no talks now. BJP-Sena is separate, NCP-Congress is different. How can you say this? They have to pave their path, and we have to pave ours."
During the interaction, Pawar confirmed his meeting with Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday evening. In the meeting, the heads of the two alliance parties--NCP and Congress, are likely to discuss the next course of action, in the politically dismembered Maharashtra and a possible alliance with the ideologically contrasting Shiv Sena. The Mahayuti alliance of BJP-Shiv Sena broke after the saffron party had disagreements over the 50:50 formula and rotational Chief Minister position. Following this, the single-largest party, BJP, refused to form a government in the state.
On Friday, Sharad Pawar claimed that there are no chances of 'mid-term' elections in the state and a stable government would be formed sooner or later. Addressing a press conference Sharad Pawar said, "Since attempts to form a government have started so sooner or later the government would be formed. There are no chances of mid-term elections but a stable government would be formed that will last for 5 years."
Prior to Pawar's statement, news of the three parties engaging in talks for the formation of a non-BJP government had gained momentum. The Shiv Sena was reportedly drafting a common minimum program, and finalising the formula to form a government in Maharashtra which is currently under the President's rule after the BJP, Shiv Sena and NCP failed to form a government. The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 105 seats in 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.