Sena leader Sanjay Raut meets Pawar amid deadlock over govt formation in Maha

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar, NCP
Raut had earlier ruled out the possibility of the Shiv Sena joining hands with the opposition parties. Photo: ANI

Amidst the deadlock between the BJP and the Shiv Sena on government formation in Maharashtra, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut reportedly met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, on Thursday (October 31) evening, sparking speculations of a new alliance.

Although it is yet to be known what transpired between Raut and Pawar, the meeting indicates that attempts are being made to form a non-BJP government.

Raut, however, said the visit was a courtesy call on the occasion of Diwali, reported NDTV

The day saw a series of meetings between senior leaders of major non-BJP parties, triggering talks in political circles about the possibility of the Sena forming a government with the backing of opposition parties.

Also read: One week since results, no sight of govt formation in Maharashtra 

Congress leaders Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan flew to Delhi to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi amid talks in political circles about the possibility of the Sena forming a government with support from opposition parties.

Earlier in the day, the three Maharashtra Congress leaders met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at the latter’s residence.

“The three leaders are in Delhi for a meeting with the party president (Gandhi),” sources in the Congress said. They said the meeting is taking place after Pawar in the morning told them that they should speak to the Congress high command on the current situation and take approval on the steps to be taken.

Amid all this, Prithviraj Chavan said in case the Shiv Sena sends any proposal over government formation, the same will be conveyed to the party’s central leadership.

The Sena on its part refused to budge from its demand for 50:50 division of portfolios with the BJP.

Both these demands have been rejected by the BJP which has insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue in the post for the next five years.

Adopting a harsh tone, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party on Thursday accused the BJP of enacting “second act” of the “use and throw” policy while dealing with its ally.

Whatever was decided when the two parties stitched up alliance before the Lok Sabha elections should be implemented, the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said in an editorial.

The Sena’s tally has come down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats. The simple majority mark in the 288-member assembly is 145.