Impasse in Maharashtra: BJP in standby mode, Sena gives mixed signals

MUMBAI: The stalemate over the formation of the government in Maharashtra continued on Saturday with the Shiv Sena , who wants the post of prime minister, harden and soften his position alternately, and the ally BJP Playing the waiting game.

Saffron's allies, who obtained a comfortable majority in the October 21 assembly polls, have not yet begun formal talks to overturn the power sharing agreement.

On the other hand, the Nationalist Congress Party said its supreme Sharad Pawar will meet with Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi on Monday, while a Muslim deputy from the Maharashtra Congress suggested that his party support the Seine to form a government.

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil held a meeting with party leaders V Satish and Vijay Puranik here.

When asked if there was a solution in sight, Patil said he had prayed to Goddess Ambabai (the famous deity of her hometown, Kolhapur) for the same.

Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' came out with a stinging editorial criticizing BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar for his remarks that President's rule would be imposed if government was not formed, terming it a threat.

Mungantiwar responded to the tirade by saying that he was only talking about constitutional provisions in case the government did not form within the stipulated period.

I am minister of forests. If the tiger (the tiger is Sena's pet) is growling unnecessarily, we know how to preserve and preserve it. We will take the tiger, he said.

He also expressed confidence that the government will be in place before November 10. The swearing in will take place on November 6 or 7, he told reporters.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who is the executive editor of the Saamana, said it was the BJP 's right to form government since it is the single largest party.

Let it get 15 days to prove its majority. If it fails to get majority, Shiv Sena will prove its majority, he said.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was injured after Prime Minister Devendra Fadnavis denied what had already been agreed between the two allies, Raut said.

All we demand is that they accept what was agreed, he added.

He said it was the BJP which had sought alliance. We had our doubts. But we thought we should give them a chance. Now we are saying the BJP should honor the commitment. Accept what has been agreed on, Raut said.

Raut also welcomed Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Hussain Dalwai's missive to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi about the present situation. Dalwai, a Muslim leader, wrote to Gandhi that the party should support the Shiv Sena.

Shiv Sena and BJP are different. The Sena had supported Pratibha Patil, Pranab Mukherjee for President's post. Shiv Sena politics has become all-inclusive unlike that of the BJP which is extreme. We must support the Sena to keep the BJP out of power , Dalwai told reporters, quoting his letter.

He said a cross-section of the Muslim community in the state would prefer the Sena over the BJP.

Some other state Congress leaders have already mooted backing the Sena to keep the BJP out of power.

But Raut was quick to add that the Shiv Sena had fought the elections in alliance with the BJP, and it would stick to the coalition dharma till the end.

Meanwhile, PCN leader Ajit Pawar said party chief Sharad Pawar will visit Delhi on Monday and meet with Sonia Gandhi.

The party's chief spokesperson, Nawab Malik, said the NCP will definitely take a positive view if the Shiv Sena was ready to form government minus the BJP.

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