Maharashtra waits for Amit Shah to resolve crisis

Nationalist Congress Party said its supremo Sharad Pawar will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on November 4.

Updated - November 03, 2019 01:32 am IST

Published - November 02, 2019 07:26 pm IST - Mumbai

Courtesy call: Mahayuti allies, including Ramdas Athawale, with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai.

Courtesy call: Mahayuti allies, including Ramdas Athawale, with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai.

Maharahstra BJP leaders on Saturday said they were awaiting the arrival of party president Amit Shah, who is likely to begin talks with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray over government formation next week.

The party, however, has started preparations for a swearing-in ceremony possibly at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium between November 5 and November 7, by which time it would have two days left to install a government, sources said. A new government must be installed before November 9.

Sena impatient

However, the Sena has warned that it could drop the ‘wait and watch’ approach if there is no end to the ongoing  crisis.

Reacting to the BJP’s statement on the looming constitutional crisis, Sena leader Sanjay Raut asked if the alliance partner was threatening democratically elected legislators of its party.

“If there is a delay in the formation of government in a State and a Minister from the ruling party says President’s Rule will be implemented in Maharashtra if a government isn’t formed, is this a threat to the MLAs who have been elected?” Mr. Raut said on Saturday.

Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar had on Friday said Maharashtra was headed for Presidential Rule if a government was not installed by November 7.

Commenting on the situation, Mr. Raut said that due to the kind of situation prevailing in Maharashtra, all political parties are talking to each other. “Except for the Sena and the BJP, all parties are talking to each other,” he said.

Cong., NCP clarify

Meanwhile, both the Congress and the NCP clarified they were not in touch with other parties. “We are not in contact with anyone. We have got the mandate to sit in the Opposition, we are ready for it,” NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said. His comments came a day after rumours were rife of NCP chief Sharad Pawar having  a telephonic conversation with Mr. Uddhav Thackeray.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also clarified that the party would sit in the Opposition. “I would like to make it clear that we have not held discussions with anybody to form the government,” he said.

Mr. Ajit Pawar confirmed that Mr. Sharad Pawar would meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday. “Sharad Pawar will visit Delhi on Monday. I have information that he and Sonia Gandhi had spoken on the phone recently... He will speak to her [in Delhi]... A lot depends on what they discuss,” Mr. Ajit Pawar told reporters.

NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said alternatives could become available if the Sena took any decision in this regard in the interest of the people.

“The NCP will definitely take a positive view if the Sena is ready to form the people’s government, minus the BJP. An alternative will be available if a decision is taken in the interest of people to form a government,” he said.

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