Congress in a dilemma over supporting Shiv Sena; Pawar holds the key to govt formation

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on November 07, 2019 Published on November 07, 2019

Even as Congress leadership is indecisive on extending support to Shiv Sena led government in Maharashtra, young turks of the grand old party have rallied behind Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar who is at the centre of hectic political developments in the State.

The Maratha strongman is set to play a key role in alternative government formation, if BJP and Shiv Sena decide to part ways. Even as Pawar has been saying that people have given mandate to his party to occupy Opposition benches, he is waiting for the result of Sena- BJP’s post-poll duel.

Following Shiv Sena’s reiteration today that it will not compromise on the demand of the post of Chief Minister and State Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni’s meeting with Governor BS Koshyari to discuss legal and constitutional issues, Pawar cut short his visit to rain-affected areas and rushed back to Mumbai.

Pawar to gain

Pawar had left the State capital yesterday announcing that he would be out of capital for next five days. “We cannot say what the Advocate General must advise the Governor. I am heading towards Mumbai,” he told the media in Karad (Satara district). Before leaving to the State capital, Pawar held discussions with Congress leader and former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

“We had a discussion, but everything can’t be revealed publicly. Maharashtra must have a stable government. The State is passing through a difficult phase due to natural disaster,” said Chavan speaking to reporters.

Interestingly, young MLAs in Congress met Pawar insisting that he must take a lead role in convincing Congress leadership and support Shiv Sena-led government.

A section of State Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, have opposed any understanding with Sena saying that Congress must not compromise on its ‘secular credentials’. However, young Congress MLAs want to occupy power corridors with Sena and the NCP. Pawar has repeatedly said that the Congress and NCP must be on the same page if Shiv Sena comes seeking support to form the government.

Sources in the NCP said that Pawar has communicated to Sena leaders that they will have to take a call to snap ties with the BJP and come out with a proposal to form an alternative government.

Till then, NCP and Congress leaders will keep reiterating that they would sit in the Opposition.

Defection in Congress

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar of Congress alleged that the BJP leaders were trying to woo Congress MLAs.

He said that they have started calling Congress MLA’s seeking their support. Prithviraj Chavan said that no Congress MLA will leave the party to join the BJP.

Published on November 07, 2019
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