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Maharashtra: Congress keeping a close watch on NCP’s next steps

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 05, 2019

As the discussions between the BJP and the Shiv Sena on the formation of a government in Maharashtra is far from over, the Congress high command is watching the next steps of its ally NCP, which apparently is in discussions with the Shiv Sena to form the next government.

Though the high command is not in favour of any direct alliance with the Shiv Sena, Congress sources indicate that the party does not mind giving outside support to a non-BJP government.

NCP-Sena parleys

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had said on Monday that the Shiv Sena is in not touch with him. He, however, added that he cannot say what will happen in future. An NCP leader, aware of the informal parleys between the NCP and the Shiv Sena, told BusinessLine that the next step has to be taken by the Shiv Sena.

“They are still with the NDA. They will have to clarify their stand — whether they want the post of Chief Minister with our support or Deputy Chief Minister in BJP-led Government,” the leader said. The Congress, too, thinks that a discussion with the Sena is not possible until it continues in the NDA alliance.

Though reports have emerged on the possibilities of a split in three parties — NCP, Sena and the Congress — favouring a BJP government, the NCP leader said it will not be a reality.

“Some people who left us and joined the NDA have failed miserably in this election. People are against the NDA,” he said ruling out any split in the UPA camp.

Floods, BPCL sale

The Congress and the NCP are also trying to make the maximum of the unrest over the sale of BPCL and the floods in certain parts of Maharashtra. Both the NCP and the Shiv Sena trade unions have supported the BPCL employees’ decision to hold a strike on November 28.

Meanwhile, leader of NDA ally RPI (A) and Minister of State in Narendra Modi Cabinet Ramdas Athawale asked the Shiv Sena not to be adamant on its demand for the Chief Minister’s post. He said the post belongs to the BJP. He said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will be able to find a solution for the crisis in Maharashtra.

Published on November 05, 2019

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