Will Congress support ‘lesser evil’ Sena to form government in Maharashtra?

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on October 31, 2019

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As tug-of-war between BJP and Shiv Sena continues, the State Congress leaders are tapping a possibility of non-BJP government in Maharashtra. According to sources, Congress leaders met NCP President Sharad Pawar to discuss new political equations. However, Pawar told them to take up the matter with the Congress High Command and then come for further discussions. Senior Congress leaders say that the government led by ‘lesser evil’ Sena would help to weaken the BJP in Maharashtra.

Senior Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat, have already dropped clear hints that the Congress would consider supporting Sena if it decides to part ways with its alliance partner BJP.

Recently talking to media, AICC general secretary and Maharashtra incharge Mallikarjun Kharge denied any possibility of aligning with the Sena and added that the mandate for the Congress is to sit on the Opposition benches. However, according to reports, State leaders are meeting Sonia Gandhi to convince her that the party must play a decisive role if BJP and Sena decide to break up. NCP President Sharad Pawar has announced to occupy the Opposition benches, but the Maratha strongman might play his cards once Sena and Congress make a move. Congress and Sena cannot form the government without NCP’s support.

Congress leaders said that the party was waiting for Shiv Sena to decide the stand. Sena insiders claimed that the party chief Uddhav Thackeray will hold talks with Amit Shah this week and take a final call. Majority of the Sena leaders are confident that Thackeray might step back from the demands and join the BJP-led government.

Shiv Sena has won 56 seats and with the support of independent MLAs the party has taken up its tally to 63. NCP has won 54 seats and Congress 49. Together, these three parties easily cross the magic figure of 145 MLAs required to prove the majority on the floor of the House. BJP has won 105 seats on its own and it has claimed that about 15 MLAs want to support the BJP. Sena has staked claim on the post of Chief Minister for 2.5 years and key positions in the cabinet. However, BJP leaders are not ready to accept the demand.

Published on October 31, 2019

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