Sena, Cong, NCP will work out a formula for govt formation: Uddhav

defamation case, Saamana, cartoon, Maharashtra chief minister, Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena, acquitted of charges
The cartoon was carried by Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, of which Uddhav Thackeray, president of the party, was editor until he was sworn in as Maharashtra Chief Minister last month. Photo: PTI

Even as the Congress and the NCP remained indecisive over extending support to a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday (November 12) said that the three non-BJP parties will work out a formula for government formation in the state.

Maharashtra has been facing political uncertainty for nearly three weeks now after the saffron allies, the BJP and the Shiv Sena entered a hard bargain over the latter’s demand for a rotation chief minister.

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Attacking the BJP over its claim that the Sena was in touch with the Congress-NCP since the October 24 poll results, Thackeray said he had allied with the chief NDA constituent in
its “dark times”. “I officially spoke to the Congress-NCP only yesterday (November 11), seeking support for government formation. We will work out a formula for the same,” he told reporters after meeting the Senas MLA-elects at a suburban resort.

He said the Sena needs a clarity on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) just like the Congress and the NCP if a government is to be formed with their support. The Sena president took a dig at Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over denial of more time to drum up support for government formation in the state. The Sena had failed to produce the required letters of support of the NCP and the Congress when it met the Governor on Monday night to stake a claim to form government.

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“The Maharashtra Governor had given us a letter (asking the Sena to show willingness to form government) even before the deadline allotted to the BJP got over. We then asked the Governor for additional time, which he denied. Now it seems, the Governor has given us ample time of six months to decide on government formation,” Thackeray said sarcastically. “We had asked for 48 hrs but the Governor gave us six months,” he added.

He hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying, “The fact that I reached out to the Congress-NCP only yesterday proves the BJPs allegation, that I was in touch with them
since day of the election results, wrong.” Reaffirming the Sena’s commitment to Hindutva, he pointed out that parties with different ideologies have forged alliance with the BJP.

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“I have sought information on how the BJP forged alliances with non-ideological partners like Mehbooba Mufti (PDP-J&K), Nitish Kumar (JDU-Bihar), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP-
Andhra Pradesh) and Ramvilas Paswan (LJP-Bihar). It will be helpful for me to understand on how to go ahead with the Congress and NCP,” the Sena leader said.

Asked whether he has officially broken the alliance with the BJP, Thackeray said, “If it is broken, it is by them and not me. They lied and tried to prove me a liar.” He reiterated that sharing the CM’s post was decided before the assembly polls, but the BJP did not honour this commitment. “It is not true Hindutva when you are in favour of Ram temple, but break promise,” Thackeray said.

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The Sena chief addressed the press conference shortly after a similar presser by leaders of the Congress and NCP in south Mumbai. At their joint press meet, Congress and NCP leaders said they had not yet taken any decision about supporting the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra, but will hold further discussions on the issue.

The Sena, with 56 seats, is the second largest party after the BJP (105). If it comes together with the NCP (54) and the Congress (44), the three parties can easily reach the
majority mark of 145 in the 288-member house.

The state plunged into political uncertainty following the BJP-Sena tussle over power-sharing though their alliance got a comfortable majority in the October 21 Assembly polls.

(With inputs from agencies)