Ïn the latest and perhaps the most concrete development in Maharashtra's politics, the NCP and Congress dropped enough hints of a possible Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in the state. Addressing a press conference in Delhi, NCP Mumbai chief Nawab Malik said, "We are soon going to form the government. The three parties should come together and form the government, on these points discussions were held and soon after deciding on this, we will form an alternative government in Maharashtra.'' Malik's address, with Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan beside him, came after discussions between the senior leadership of the UPA allies over Maharashtra's political situation.
Nawab Malik highlighted the farm distress due to unseasonal rains in Maharashtra as a reason why the deadlock needs to end soon. "Because of President's rule in Maharashtra, the administration has come to a halt. Farmers need assistance but aren't getting any. Efforts are underway to form a stable government in Maharashtra. Today, in the meeting of Congress-NCP leaders we discussed the formation of an alternative government. It is clear that no government will form unless the three parties come together. Without Congress, Sena, and NCP, no government can form. Positive discussions were held and certainly, there will be an alternative government in Maharashtra soon for five years," Malik said.
"Ïn the last 21 days, political uncertainty in the state...the intention of ending that uncertainty Congress and NCP have gone into various aspects of a formation of an alliance. We had a long and very productive discussion today. Some aspects of the alliance we discussed and may continue discussions as soon as possible. I'm sure that we'll be able to give a very stable government to Maharashtra very soon (sic)," former Congress CM Prithviraj Chavan said. He, however, buckled on the question of whether there is an in-principal agreement on the alliance with Shiv Sena and said after final discussions the media will be informed.
According to sources, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday finally gave the nod and agreed to an alliance with Shiv Sena. Soon after the development, NCP's Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon spoke to Republic TV and confirmed the alliance. Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi has refused to comment on the progress being made in the formation of a new government in the state of Maharashtra.