NCP gets call from Governor but needs Shiv Shakti

Mumbai: Hours after rejecting Shiv Sena’s demand to extend the deadline to form government in Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari Monday called NCP to stake claim at the government. NCP leader Nawab Malik told ANI that the party will hold discussions with ally Congress and see how a stable govt can be provided to the state.

Earlier, the Governor rejected the Shiv Sena’s request to extend the deadline to submit letters of support from the Congress and NCP to form the government.

Meanwhile, the NCP will discuss the issue with its ally, the Congress, and get back to Koshyari by or before 8:30 pm on Tuesday.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP has 54 MLAs in the 288-member Assembly which is the third largest party after the BJP (105) and the Shiv Sena (56).

“As per the procedure, the governor has given us a letter being the third largest party in the state of Maharashtra and therefore, we have suggested to him that we will have to talk to our alliance partner. We have assured him that we will get back to him as early as possible,” Patil said.

NCP legislature party leader Ajit Pawar and senior leaders Chhagan Bhujbal and Dhananjay Munde accompanied Patil.
The Congress on Monday held marathon discussions and a meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee.

After hours of deliberations, the Congress decided to hold further talks with ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), while keeping its options open on participation in the new government.

“The Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) has spoken to Sharad Pawarji. The party will have further discussions with the NCP,” a statement issued by Congress general secretary K C Venugopal said after the second meeting of Congress leaders.

After two crucial meetings, the top leaders of the party preferred to have a detailed discussions with the NCP on the political impasse in the state.

“The Congress Working Committee met this morning and held a detailed discussion on the situation in Maharashtra after which a consultation was held with Maharashtra Congress leaders,” the statement further said.

In a telephonic conversation with Sonia Gandhi, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray sought her party’s support to form government, but she did not commit anything to him, the sources said.

“No letter of support has been given to the Shiv Sena over government formation. The Congress has not taken any decision on supporting the Shiv Sena on government formation,” Venugopal told PTI.

Asked about the telephonic conversation between Sonia Gandhi and Thackeray, he said it was a “courtesy call” and only pleasantries were exchanged but no commitment was made.

Sonia Gandhi is learnt to have told Thackeray that she is yet to talk to Congress MLAs in the state and no decision has been taken yet on whether to lend support to the Sena, the sources said. The Sena is the second largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP (105).