PUTTING to rest the speculations about BJP-Shiv Sena coalition in Maharashtra, BJP sources on Saturday said that back-channel talks between the two parties are underway in a bid to arrive at a conclusion on the formation of the Government. According to the sources, back-channel talks are underway between the leaders of two parties and discussions are at the concluding stage. “The talks are on the positive side and will be over in the next couple of days.
To seal the deal, BJP senior leaders will hold a crucial meeting tomorrow in Mumbai,” the source said. Sources also confirmed that initially 12 to 14 ministers will take oath as the Cabinet ministers and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be the Chief Minister of the State.
The Shiv Sena and the BJP, who had fought the polls together, could not form the overnment due to differences over power-sharing. The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the State with 105 seats in 288-member Assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44. Maharashtra came under President’s Rule after no party was able to form the Government after the Assembly polls. Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was quoted as saying that the BJP would form the Government.
Sena not to attend NDA meet, Raut says, exit now formality
THE Shiv Sena, which is holding talks with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for Government formation in Maharashtra, said on Saturday that it would not attend a meeting of NDA constituents on the eve of the winter session of Parliament. Sena leader Sanjay Raut also said that formal severance of ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was now only a formality. The Sena also accused the BJP of having intentions to indulge in “horse-trading” in the State, which is under President’s Rule since November 12. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP over sharing of Chief Minister’s post after the two allies won a comfortable majority in the last month’s Assembly polls. The Sena’s lone Minister in the Narendra Modi Government, Arvind Sawant, resigned on November 11. “I have learnt that the meeting (of NDA constituents) is being held on November 17. We had already decided against attending the meeting considering the developments in Maharashtra...Our minister resigning from the Central Government,” Sanjay Raut said. Asked if only a formal announcement of the Sena walking out of the NDA remains to be made, Raut said, “You can say that. There is no problem with saying that”. The Sena, NCP, Congress have reached a consensus on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP), the basis of their proposed alliance Government, and there was no need to discuss it in Delhi, Raut said.
NCP panel to meet in Pune today; Pawar, Sonia may meet on Monday
THE meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi to discuss a possible alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra may not take place on Sunday, sources said. Pawar has convened a meeting of the NCP’s core committee in Pune on Sunday, which makes it difficult for him to reach Delhi in time, party sources said on Saturday. Earlier, sources in both parties had said that Pawar and Gandhi may meet on Sunday. “The core committee meeting will begin in Pune at 4 pm. After that Pawar will head to Delhi in the evening,” sources said. The core committee may discuss portfolio allocation in the possible coalition Government of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, sources said. Pawar is expected to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday to discuss Government formation.