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Sanjay Raut meets Sharad Pawar amid tussle on govt formation


Mumbai, Oct 31: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut met National Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar amid a impasse in the party's power share negotiations with the BJP.

"I met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar at his residence today. I had come to wish him on the occasion of Diwali. We also discussed the politics in Maharashtra," Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI.

Sanjay Raut

Speculation has been rife over the backchannel talks between Congress-NCP and Shiv Sena following Sena's demand of 50:50 chiefministership with BJP in the coalition government.

The stalemate over government formation refuses to end with Shiv Sena refusing to compromise its demand of getting an equal share in the chief minister's post.

In case, it is not given the post of CM, the party may seek for the Home, Finance and Urban Development portfolios.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is unlikely to agree to these demands.

Although both parties together have a comfortable majority, the Shiv Sena has been insisting on a 50:50 formula, which Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis denies was ever spoken about. The NCP and Congress have made it clear now that it would sit in opposition.

Earlier in the day, Raut has described as rumours reports that his party has softened its stand on the issue of sharing power in Maharashtra with ruling alliance partner BJP.

Raut described reports in a section of media alluding to the 'softening of stand' by the Sena as hearsay.

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"The (reports that) Sena has softened (its stand), has compromised and relinquished equitable distribution of posts, are all rumours," he tweeted. "This is the public, which knows everything. Whatever will was decided (between BJP and Sena), will happen," he added.

Raut also dismissed reports of a possible split in Shiv Sena. "If anyone is floating rumours of 23 (of total 56) Sena MLAs maintaining contact with the BJP, then they must have forgotten to mention Aaditya Thackeray's name as one of those defectors. And why are they saying 23 MLAs only, why not say all 56," he said.

On the other hand former Maharashtra chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan asked how could the BJP and Shiv Sena form the government if there is so much distrust between them. They must tell the voters what was decided between them.

If the Shiv Sena comes to us with a proposal we will place it before the high command and discuss it with our allies, he said while also adding that no proposal had come so far.

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