Maharashtra Politics: Numbers, possibilities; Will Congress support a 'saffron' party
New Delhi, Nov 11: Shiv Sena has exuded confidence that it will be able to prove the majority, but for that, a lot of things have to fall in place. Although Sena is the second-largest party in Maharashtra, it just has two seats more than the NCP which significantly improved its performance as compared to 2014. Even if Shiv Sena (56 seats) and NCP (54) join hands, they can not form a government without Congress (44) support.
NCP has made two things clear, one is that the Sharad Pawar led party does not want President's Rule in Maharashtra, and second, they would support an alternate non-BJP government. The NCP then put forth a condition that Shiv Sena severe ties with the BJP-led NDA, and to that effect, Sena's Lok Sabha MP and union minister Arvind Sawant has resigned from the Modi led government. So the Sena has essentially put the ball NCP's court.
Sena now has time till evening today and it goes to the Governor, it will have to show support of 145 MLAs.
Congress would want to be a part of any alliance that keeps the BJP away from power. But, political situation here is different as the Shiv Sena has been an ally of the BJP for decades and what kept the two parties together was 'Hindutva' ideology which Congress has always opposed. Joining hands with a 'Saffron Party' is going to be a tough call. Staunch Congress supporters may not approve joining hands with a 'Right-Wing' party which is at the other end of the spectrum as far as Congress ideology is concerned.
Congress, however, may agree for outside support. It serves two purposes. Congress will not officially be a part of Sena-NCP alliance which, the grand old party would hope, not irk its core supporters and it can keep the BJP out of power.
But, will this Sena-NCP government with outside support from Congress be stable?
Congress at the moment is mum but sooner or later it will have to make its stand clear. If nothing works out, then the Governor will have not other option left but to impose President's rule.
What happened after election results: In brief
BJP and Shiv Sena went to elections as allies, but after results were announced, the Uddav Thackeray-led party demanded '50-50' sharing of CM's post. The BJP is not willing to give up CM post. With Shiv Sena adamant on CM post for 2.5 years, and the BJP unrelenting, there is currently a deadlock.
In the Maharashtra Assembly elections 2019, BJP won 105 seats in the polls while ally Shiv Sena won 56. The NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively.