Friday, Dec 06, 2019 | Last Update : 06:30 AM IST

Severe blow to Shiv Sena’s CM dream after Cong sulk

THE ASIAN AGE. | BHAGWAN PARAB
Published : Nov 12, 2019, 3:03 am IST
Updated : Nov 12, 2019, 4:13 am IST

The governor has given NCP time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday to stake claim.

But a day after a miffed BJP opted out of forming the government, Shiv Sena’s ambition to install its chief minister in Maharashtra suffered a severe setback.  (Photo: ANI)
 But a day after a miffed BJP opted out of forming the government, Shiv Sena’s ambition to install its chief minister in Maharashtra suffered a severe setback. (Photo: ANI)

Mumbai: Monday was a day of mounting woes for the Shiv Sena which had, since the day election results were announced in Maharashtra, played hardball with its alliance partner, BJP, insisting on joining the government only if agreed to share the chief minister’s post for two-and-a-half years.

But a day after a miffed BJP opted out of forming the government, Shiv Sena’s ambition to install its chief minister in Maharashtra suffered a severe setback.

On Monday, the party snapped its ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance by making its lone minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Arvind Sawant, resign on the assurance from NCP-Congress that it would get their support in government formation if it did so. But then it failed to get the necessary support it was banking on.

Neither the NCP nor the Congress gave its letter of support to Sena before its delegation was to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to stake claim to form the next government. The governor had given the Shiv Sena time till 7.30 pm on Monday to “express willingness and ability to form the government”.

Even though Sena leaders Aaditya Thackeray, Eknath Shinde and others met the governor before 7.30 pm at Raj Bhavan, they did not have the letters of support from NCP and Congress, and the governor refused the Shiv Sena’s request for another 48 hours to stake claim to form the government and decided late evening to try the third option, NCP.

The governor has given NCP time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday to stake claim.

Shiv Sena’s failure to get the required numbers is being seen as a huge embarrassment for the party and Uddhav Thackeray after it played the gamble of quitting the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) by asking its lone minister to resign from the Union Cabinet.

Shiv Sena’s plans to stake claims to form the government were thwarted as the Congress at the last moment announced its decision to hold more talks with the NCP on supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

During the meeting with the governor, the Sena delegation asked for more time to prove its numbers, which Mr Koshyari squarely refused. However, Aaditya maintained that his party’s claims on government formation remained intact. He claimed that the two parties have agreed “in-principle” to support the Sena-led government, but he didn’t take the names of the Congress and the NCP. “We have initiated talks with two parties. Both the parties have expressed their support in-principle to the Sena,” he said.

“Shiv Sena MLAs have already issued their support in written. But the two parties need few more days to complete their procedures. Hence we sought time from the governor but he refused to grant it,” Aaditya added.

On a day of hectic parleys and tension, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai after he complained of chest pain. The Rajya Sabha MP, who has been speaking to the media daily on his party’s stand on the current political situation in Maharashtra, may be discharged soon.

The governor had first asked the BJP, which is the single largest party, to form the government, but it declined the offer. Now with Sena also failing to prove its numbers, he has invited the third largest party, NCP, for government formation.

The NCP delegation, led by senior leader Ajit Pawar, met the governor late on Monday night. If the NCP, which has 54 MLAs, also fails to muster the required numbers to form the government, the state might be heading towards President’s rule, sources said.

“As per convention, the governor had called us as the third largest party and asked our willingness and ability to form the government. We have told him that we will consult our alliance partner Congress and get back as early as possible,” said senior NCP leader Jayant Patil.

“We will hold discussion with the Congress based on the letter the governor will give us... we will take a final decision tomorrow,” said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.

Tags: narendra modi, uddhav thackeray
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)