It’s a manic Monday for Indian politics as all Opposition parties get into huddle to strategies over their Maharashtra plan. From 10 Janpath to Matoshree, the rounds of marathon meetings will see top party leadership making key decisions that will shape the fate of Maharashtra. There has been no headway in government formation after results of the state Assembly polls were declared on October 24 in which the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP- 54 and Congress-44. Raut, who is a Rajya Sabha member, earlier said his party was firm on a written assurance from the senior alliance partner over power sharing, including rotation of the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years.
But on Sunday, in swift turn of events Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited the Shiv Sena to form the government after the BJP declined the offer. Soon, it became clearer that all Opposition parties in Maharashtra are coming together to form a unique alliance. However, the most crucial role will be played by Sonia Gandhi. It should be recalled that the interim Congress chief had met NCP president Sharad Pawar amid buzz of the coalition, but after the meeting Pawar had clearly said that the mandate of the voters was that NCP should sit in the Opposition. The statement was seen as a result of Gandhi’s firm ‘no’ over the coalition in Maharashtra.
But the sources in party said that now the Congress is likely to extend support to the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra. Gandhi has called an emergency CWC meeting at her residence. Similar high-level meetings are scheduled in Mumbai at residences of Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said the party didn't want President's rule in Maharashtra, indicating that the party is in the game. Newly-elected MLAs of Congress are currently staying in Jaipur.
"We are in Jaipur. We will discuss the issue here and will seek advice for the future political stand. The party doesn't want president's rule in the state," Chavan told reporters. Chavan said he was in favour of forming a stable government in Maharashtra. Another Congress leader Milind Deora said the governor should invite NCP-Congress alliance to form government, a proposal opposed by another leader Sanjay Nirupam.