Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday told reporters that the party is not standing in the way of government formation in Maharashtra and that it wants that the process to be completed
Raut, along with Maharashtra minister Ramdas Kadam met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai amid the stalemate over government formation after the 21 October Assembly polls. The Shiv Sena leaders met Koshyari at 5 pm, a Raj Bhavan official said.
Raut said, "The Shiv Sena is not responsible for the ongoing confusion and for the fact that the government has not yet been formed. Whichever be the party that forms the government, we are not creating any obstacles. Whoever has a majority in the House will form the government."
To a question on speculation that the Shiv Sena may support the BJP if Devendra Fadnavis is not made the chief minister, Raut said, "We have not made any such demand, nor have we heard of any such thing."
Raut's statements come at a time when the BJP and the Shiv Sena are engaged in a bitter tug-of-war over the equal distribution of cabinet portfolios. The Shiv Sena has demanded a rotational arrangement for the chief minister's post, under which both saffron allies will hold the top post for 2.5 years each. In fact, on Sunday, Raut had claimed his party would soon have its chief minister with the support of "170 MLAs".
Meanwhile, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi at her residence on Monday evening. After the meeting, Pawar said, "We do not have the numbers to form the government. The BJP and its allies have the numbers, and so they have the responsibility in this regard."
Responding to Raut's claim of the Sena having the support of 170 MLAs, Pawar said, "Perhaps a section of BJP leaders is with them."
Answering a question on whether the NCP will support a government in which the chief minister is from the Shiv Sena, Pawar, said, "Neither have they made such a proposal to us, nor have they made such a proposal to us."
On Saturday, NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik had said the party will take a "positive view" if the Shiv Sena is ready to form a "people's government as envisaged by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj" minus the BJP.
Malik said alternatives can be available if the Uddhav Thackeray-led party takes any decision in this regard in the interest of the people.
Pawar had, however, on Friday said his party will occupy Opposition benches in the Assembly.
Delhi: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar arrives at Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi's residence pic.twitter.com/IcAaYryvTk
— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2019
In the BJP camp, Fadnavis reached Delhi on Monday morning to meet Amit Shah at his residence, party insiders said.
"There is a need to form the government in Maharashtra at the earliest... I am confident that the government will be formed," Fadnavis told reporters after the meeting. He later met BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav who was in charge of elections in Maharashtra.
However, officially, Fadnavis met Shah to seek more help from the Centre for a package for Maharashtra's farmers whose crops have been affected by unseasonal rains.
Meanwhile, Independent MLA Ravi Rana, who has extended support to the BJP in Maharashtra, has claimed that "some 25 MLAs" of the Shiv Sena were in touch with him over formation of the next government.
The MLA from Badnera in Amravati district dubbed the Sena as "very arrogant" and claimed the Uddhav-led party will split and nearly two dozen MLAs will join the BJP if Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis forms the next government without its saffron ally. The Sena has 56 MLAs.
Rana, along with his wife Navneet Kaur Rana, the Independent Lok Sabha member from Amravati, met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai on Monday.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 04, 2019 19:12:39 IST