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Maharashtra govt formation: Several Congress MLAs want to back Sena to keep BJP out


Mumbai, Nov 07: Amid stalemate between BJP and its ally Shiv Sena over power-sharing in Maharashtra, several Congress MLAs favour supporting the Sena in government formation.

Devendra Fadnavis

Reportedly, 30 MLAs including senior Congress leaders and young MLAs, have asked for Congress president Sonia Gandhi's permission to offer outside support to the Shiv Sena, should it try to form government without the BJP.

There were speculations regarding NCP support to Shiv Sena as Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut had met Sharad Pawar at his residence. Pawar in a media briefing maintained that NCP would be following the people's mandate and sit in Opposition.

Maharashtra Assembly to convene next week: New MLAs to be sworn in

"Where is the question (of a non-BJP government)?" Pawar said. The BJP and the Shiv Sena have been in alliance for 25 years, and they "will come together sooner or later".

"If we had the numbers, we wouldn't have waited for anyone (for government formation). The Congress and NCP didn't cross the 100 mark...we will work as a responsible opposition," said the 78-year-old. Noting that the BJP and Shiv Sena have received the mandate to rule, he said, "They should form the government at the earliest and not allow the state to slip in a constitutional crisis. They should allow us to fulfil the mandate assigned to us by people (to sit in opposition)."

There has been no headway in government formation after Maharashtra election resutls were declared on Oct. 24. The BJP won 105 seats in the polls while ally Shiv Sena won 56. The NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively. The term of the existing 288-seat state assembly expires on Nov. 9.

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