Congress and NCP, on Wednesday, indicated their consent to go with Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra after days of speculative political moves.
After a four- hour meeting between NCP and Congress leaders in New Delhi, Congress leader Prithviraj Chauhan said about their readiness to set up a stable government in Maharashtra. “We will be able to give (Maharashtra) a stable government as soon as possible,” he said in a joint presser with NCP leaders. He said that Congress and NCP would work out on details on government formation for some time more before they come up with a formula.
Earlier in the day, Sarad Pawar met PM Narendra Modi in his office, sparking speculations to do the round. He, however, had mentioned that the meeting was on the current agrarian grievances in Maharashtra.
In the Maharashtra assembly elections on 21 October, NCP garnered 54 seats partnered with Congress, which got 44 seats. Shiv Sena and BJP had been into the fray with pre-poll pact but lost the camaraderie on power-sharing issue after the result, and eventually separated. BJP and Shiv Sena have 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-seat Maharashtra Assembly.
Shiv Sena has been seeking an equal share in the ministerial berths with BJP along with two and half year term of the chief- minister. BJP has been too reluctant to accede to its partner’s demand.
As the post-poll scenario developed Sarad Pawar emerged as a key player in power-brokering that happened to be with Shiv Sena in the immediate period after the election result on 24 October.
The 82- year Sarad Pawar has taken control of the game in Maharashtra by his cunning political moves. On the scene, there is a hectic process going on in Maharashtra to cobble up a Sena-NCP- Congress team to assume government, but Pawar’s words in these days have been all but clear.
On November 11, Shiv Sena met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari with the invitation to form the government, but it could make no claim on the government. Subsequently, NCP got the call to form the government the next day, but it sought more time; which, eventually paved the way for the President’s rule in Maharashtra on 12th November. This political turn of events in Maharashtra dented Shiv Sena’s advantage in the bargain and lifted Sarad Pawar’s. The astute Pawar played the game here.
On Monday, after the much-awaited meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, He appeared before the media only to say that there was no discussion about government formation!