Mallikarjun Kharge

Jan 18, 2020, 08.16 PM IST

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MALLIKARJUN KHARGE

Sharad Pawar meets Modi as moves to form Maha govt gather momentum

Results of the October 21 Assembly polls were declared on October 24 and President's rule was imposed in the state on November 12 after no party or combine staked claim to form the new government. The meeting between Pawar and Modi at the prime minister's chamber in Parliament took place amid talks between the NCP, the Congress and the Shiv Sena for an alliance.

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  • Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal are reaching Mumbai on Tuesday morning to hold parleys with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

    The Shiv Sena is the second-largest party in the 288-member House with only 56 MLAs after the BJP (105). Given the stalemate between the two alliance partners, the Congress, which stood at the fourth position by winning 44 seats in the recent Maharashtra Assembly elections, now holds the key to formation of a 'non- BJP' government in the state.

    Congress leaders postponed their visit after NCP chief Sharad Pawar conveyed that state leaders of both the parties will first discuss the "terms and conditions" of government formation

    Popularly known as "solillada Saradara", (a leader without defeat), this was the first electoral loss in Kharge's political life spanning several decades.

    Senior party leader Ahmed Patel is also likely to reach Jaipur. After the meeting, Congress leaders are likely to discuss the issue with the top party leadership in Delhi. The sources said NCP chief Sharad Pawar may also meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday, to discuss the possibility of the two parties supporting a Sena-led govt.

    Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who had given the Nationalist Congress Party time till 8.30 pm on Tuesday to express its "willingness and ability" to form government and time being of the essence, has submitted a report to President Ram Nath Kovind recommending President's rule in the state.

    Nirupam said the ongoing war of words between the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena was nothing but "drama" and Congress should stay away from it. "Have they lost? How can some Cong leaders think of supporting the Shiv Sena. To the best of my understanding, Shiv Sena will never come out of BJP's shadow,," the former Mumbai Congress chief said.

    Addressing the MLAs, Sharad Pawar said: “Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will decide on the date for the vote of confidence. The governor will have no option but to call you. Unlike Manipur or Goa, this is Maharashtra. We won’t allow anything wrong to happen. We say what is right and what is wrong. We have the capacity to teach you a lesson.”

    "Karnataka is suffering under the poor governance of chief minister BS Yediyurappa and (due to) corruption. People are disappointed with the government's handling of the flood situation. People are in distress, but the BJP is indulging in immoral politics and destroying democracy," said AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs KC Venugopal.

    Hectic deliberations about the possibility of the Congress participating in government formation in Maharashtra started on Sunday after its long-time political adversary Shiv Sena was invited to form the government by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. He did so after the BJP announced it would not form government in the state.

    Patel also dismissed allegations that the Congress delayed formation of a prospective alliance government by withholding its consent for such arrangement. He said people of the country and Maharashtra have faith in the principles of democracy. "But that faith was insulted", Patel said without naming the BJP.

    After a meeting with senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Ashok Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat and Manikrao Thakare at a suburban hotel, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said that the talks were fruitful and the discussion over government formation in Maharashtra was progressing in the "right direction". The meeting lasted for about an hour.

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