Maharashtra’s governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari has invited Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is the third-largest party in a recent state election, to work and form a government after the BJP refused to do so and the Shiv Sena failed to show letters of support. Arvind Sawant, the only Shiv Sena minister in the Union government led by the BJP, has resigned. The impasse in Maharashtra has moved on for nearly three weeks and the prospect of President’s rule looms.
Earlier, BJP, which emerged as the single-largest party with 105 seats post the October 24-Assembly elections verdict, did not stake a claim after ally Sena denied support. It would be difficult for the NCP even now to convince the Congress leadership to go along with the Shiv Sena in the given timeframe while indicating that the state could be headed towards President’s rule.
After speaking with NCP’s Sharad Pawar, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi authorized senior Congress leaders to meet Pawar for further talks on Maharashtra government formation. Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal would be leaving for Mumbai.
(With inputs from India today)