Congress says ‘no question’ of supporting Shiv Sena in forming govt in Maharashtra, mandate is to function as Opposition party

The Congress on Wednesday ruled out any possibility of aligning with the Shiv Sena to form the next government in Maharashtra at a time when the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and the BJP are locked in a tussle over the power-sharing equation in the state.

Press Trust of India October 30, 2019 21:01:44 IST
Congress says ‘no question’ of supporting Shiv Sena in forming govt in Maharashtra, mandate is to function as Opposition party
  • AICC general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said there was no question of aligning with the Sena for the government formation

  • The Congress won 44 seats in the 288-member House in the 21 October polls, results for which were announced on 24 October

  • Kharge attended a meeting of senior Maharashtra leaders to discuss the results of the Assembly elections

Mumbai: The Congress on Wednesday ruled out any possibility of aligning with the Shiv Sena to form the next government in Maharashtra at a time when the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and the BJP are locked in a tussle over the power-sharing equation in the state.

Interestingly, former chief minister and senior leader Prithviraj Chavan had said that the Congress will "consider" any "concrete" proposal on government formation from the Sena. Talking to reporters, AICC general secretary in charge of Maharashtra, Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said there was no question of aligning with the Sena for the government formation.

Congress says no question of supporting Shiv Sena in forming govt in Maharashtra mandate is to function as Opposition party

File image of Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. News18

"The mandate for the Congress is to function as an Opposition party," he said. The Congress won 44 seats in the 288-member House in the 21 October polls, results for which were announced on 24 October.

Kharge attended a meeting of senior Maharashtra leaders to discuss the results of the Assembly elections. The leaders also discussed losses caused to farmers due to unseasonal rains. Maharashtra unit Congress president Balasaheb Thorat blamed the media for speculating on the party supporting the Sena.

"There is no talk about any such possibility at the party level," he said. Former Union minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Congress and Sena are ideologically different parties. Echoing Shinde, former chief minister Ashok Chavan termed the ongoing tussle between the BJP and the Sena for sharing of power as a "stunt".

The Congress also announced to launch statewide agitations between 5 to 15 November on "rising unemployment and the economic slowdown."

"We will soon meet the governor regarding the assistance to be provided for farmers," said party leader Manikrao Thakre. The BJP and Sena are locked in a tug-of-war over the latter's demand for rotational chief ministership.

Though the BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats, it lost 17 seats compared to the 2014 tally. The Sena emerged victorious on 56 seats compared to previous 63.

Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has been claiming that arrangement for the rotational post of the chief minister was agreed upon during a formula discussed by himself, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP chief Amit Shah ahead of the 2019 polls. However, Fadnavis rejected the claims that Sena was promised the post of the chief minister for an equal duration.

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