A political alternative can be worked out in Maharashtra if the Shiv Sena declared that it has snapped ties with the BJP, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday. Arvind Sawant, the only Sena minister in the Union government, should consider resigning, sources in the NCP said.
Maharashtra is seeing a stand-off between the Sena and its ally BJP over power sharing after the two parties won a simple majority in the October 21 assembly election.
"Nothing like it if the BJP gives the Shiv Sena chief minister's post. But if the BJP is refusing, an alternative can be given. But the Sena should declare that it is no longer associated with the BJP and NDA. Alternative can be provided after that," NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
Sources in the Sharad Pawar-led party also said that it told the Sena leadership on Tuesday morning that Mr Sawant, the lone Sena minister in the central government, should resign before a new political alignment for government formation can be explored.
"Arvind Sawant should walk out of the government. Only then NCP will open its cards," the sources said.
No party or alliance has staked claim to form government in Maharashtra after the October 24 poll results, as the BJP and Sena are engaged in a tussle over chief minister's post.
The NCP will be forced to think about alternative if the BJP-Shiv Sena combine fails to form government, state NCP chief Jayant Patil had said earlier on Tuesday.
Mr Malik, meanwhile, also hit out at BJP leaders for claiming that some Sena MLAs were in touch with the BJP for a possible switching of loyalties.
"If the BJP wants to play this game of poaching, those who had crossed over to the BJP (before the elections) are now ready to return to their original parties. Some are in touch with us...only 25-30 MLAs will remain in the BJP if poaching begins," he said.