Maharashtra Govt Formation LIVE: The Congress Working Committee today reviewed the political scenario in Maharashtra, a day after it held a marathon meeting with the NCP on forming an alliance together with Shiv Sena to form a government in the state. Congress general secretary KC Venugopal told the media after a meeting at party chief Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence that the CWC was briefed on the discussion between NCP and Congress on Wednesday and a final decision on Maharashtra is expected by tomorrow.
The CWC, the sources said, has broadly agreed to go ahead with government formation with Shiv Sena and the NCP. Another meeting between Congress and NCP is to happen Thursday night and a final meeting with Shiv Sena will happen Friday in Mumbai. The decision on government formation in Maharashtra will be announced in Mumbai on Friday, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the grand old party has insisted that the new tie-up focus on the word ‘secularism’ in the face of differing ideologies of the parties. Ahead of a meeting at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s Delhi residence today, the Congress says the tie-up should have no communal agenda and the Sena has reportedly assured the party that it is “truly liberal”.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan expressed confidence of forming a “stable” government soon in the state after a marathon meeting with senior leaders of the NCP on Wednesday. A few hours after the press conference, Chavan said Congress and NCP leaders will meet on Thursday. “By evening, we will leave for Maharashtra. Day after tomorrow, all three parties (Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena) will meet,” he said.
While Chavan hoped that political uncertainty will soon end in Maharashtra, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik was unambiguous about the need to join hands with the Sena, asserting that a government cannot be formed in the state without the three parties uniting.
Sources aware of the developments said the manifestos of all three parties would be incorporated in the Common Minimum Programme and the committee will now decide on portfolio distribution, which will be on the basis of seats each party won.
The state plunged into political crisis after the Sena broke its three-decade-old ties with the BJP after the latter refused to accede to its demand of sharing the chief minister’s post.
The BJP and the Sena, which fought the October 21 Assembly polls in alliance, had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member assembly. The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats, respectively. The Sena then began talks with the Congress-NCP alliance.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party once again trained its guns on the BJP today, this time over the protests by JNU students over fee hike. In an editorial in mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena criticised the police action on protesting students and said the police who charged at the visually impaired students “can’t be called people’s servants”. “If this was done by the Congress government, BJP would have raised the issue in Parliament. Don’t crush the students. No government should get so high on power,” it added.