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Shiv Sena to stake govt formation claim at 5 pm today; Congress likely to take a stand by 4 pm

By Vishal S

Mumbai, Nov 11: With the Congress yet to make it clear if it would support an alternate 'non-BJP' front in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena will reportedly be meeting the Governor around 5 pm today to stake a government formation claim. While the NCP has almost agreed to support an alternative non-BJP government, the Congress is yet to take a clear stand.

NCP leader Nawab Malik earlier said that the Congress is likely to take a call on the issue at 4 pm.

After BJP, the single largest party, declined to form the government, the Governor had asked the Sena, second-largest party, to stake a claim. Sena has time till 7.30 pm on Monday to stake claim to form the government.

Uddhav Thackeray (left) and Sharad Pawar (right)

A Sena delegation will meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at on Monday to stake a claim to form government and hand over a letter of support, reports said. Initially, it was reported that the Sena will stake a claim at 2.30 pm, but the Congress will make its stand clear only by 4 pm. Speculations are that, Sena would wait till it gets a clear idea on support it has before approaching the Governor.

[Maharashtra Politics: Numbers, possibilities; Will Congress support a 'saffron' party]

Sena and the NCP have reportedly decided to bury their differences from the past and join hands in the interest of the state. There would be a 'common minimum programme' which will be the basis of Sena-NCP alliance.

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.

    Is NCP willing to join hands with Shiv Sena?

    All now depends on the stand taken by the Congress. Shiv Sena and NCP together have 110 seats which is short of 145 needed to form the government. Congress has 44 MLAs, and if it supports the Sena-NCP, then alliance would have 154 MLAs, nine more than the required number for government formation.

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