Mumbai: While there is a possibility of the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) forming the government with outside support from the Congress, it is not the first time that such an alliance has been envisaged.
In March 2017, such an effort was apparently made when 19 members of Legislative Aseembly (MLA) of the Congress and NCP were suspended during the budget session after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suspected that the Shiv Sena might vote against the budget along with the Congress and NCP.
However, the BJP claimed that the suspension was only on disciplinary grounds and had nothing to do with the government’s stability or any other reasons.
It so happened that when the budget for 2017-18 was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha, the Congress and NCP MLAs created a ruckus in the house saying that they would not allow tabling of the budget till loan waiver for the farmers was announced.
They also burned copies of the budget in the precincts of the house for not having any mention of the loan waiver. Following this, nine Congress and 10 Nationalist Congress Party MLAs were suspended for maligning the image of the house.
According to sources, the BJP suspected an attempt to bring a no-confidence motion against its government by cobbling together an alliance. Hence, it played its card of suspending the Opposition MLAs. It was said that together, the Sena, NCP and Congress could have crossed the majority mark, which was enough to topple the government.
The BJP’s suspicion arose after Sena ministers opposed suspension of the Congress and NCP MLAs and also made the demand accordingly.
The issue had created a rift in the ruling BJP-Sena government that time. The top Sena ministers like Diwakar Raote, Subhash Desai, Ramdas Kadam, Deepak Sawant were insisting that the suspension of these MLAs should be revoked saying they were insisting for loan waiver issue. However, their claims were turned down by the BJP.
Meanwhile, sources in the Shiv Sena were heard saying that Congress may meet its leaders outside Maharashtra in Delhi and announce support to form the government with Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena.