Stalemate on government formation continues amidst hectic drama through the day
The Shiv Sena suffered a setback in its efforts to cobble up a non-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Maharashtra with the Congress at the last moment announcing its decision for holding more talks with the Nationalist Congress Party on supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Before inviting NCP to stake claim for formation of government with a set deadline of 8:30 pm today, 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. A statement from Raj Bhavan said, “A delegation of Shiv Sena leaders met the Governor and expressed willingness to form the government. However, they could not submit the requisite letters of support. Further, they submitted a letter requesting for three days of extension of the deadline for submitting the letters of support. The Governor expressed his inability to give any further extension.”
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, who met the Governor, said their demand for extending the deadline by 48 hours was rejected but their claim to form government still stands. “We had sought 48 hours extension but Governor rejected it. But, we have staked the claim for government formation and that is still there. The claim hasn’t been rejected,” Aaditya told reporters after the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Congress said that it will hold further discussions with ally NCP on the political situation in Maharashtra on Tuesday. Earlier on Sunday, the NCP had agreed to come together with the Sena on the condition that the latter cut ties with BJP, quit NDA and evolve a common minimum programme.
In a telephonic conversation with Sonia Gandhi, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray sought her party’s support to form government. The Sena is the second largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP (105).