Congress delegation meets senior NCP leaders at Sharad Pawar's home in Delhi.
After weeks of negotiations, the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress seem to have cleared the obstacles that hindered the three parties from joining hands and forming government in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said letters of support from the MLAs of all three parties will be handed over to the Governor on Saturday. A joint meeting of the Sena, NCP and the Congress will take place in Mumbai to finalise the alliance. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and NCP's Sharad Pawar are likely to join the meeting for discussions on power sharing.
Congress's top decision-making body met at party chief Sonia Gandhi's home this morning to discuss the possibility of being part of the government in the state. Sources say Sonia Gandhi was advised to "go ahead" with the Maharashtra alliance, despite her reservations, and told that the "greater enemy, in order to fight communalism, is the BJP". Final talks may take place in Mumbai.
Sena's Sanjay Raut, who has been the face of the party over the last weeks, later gave a rough time frame, saying the state could have a government after the negotiations are over in "two to five days".
Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi had been reluctant to join hands with the Shiv Sena, which has for years targeted the party and maintains a pro-Hindutva stand.
Shiv Sena fell out with long-time ally BJP after the two won the Maharashtra election together.
Here are the highlights on developments over Maharashtra government formation:
Uddhav Thackeray, his son Aaditya meet NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai
Complaint against Uddhav for "cheating" voters in AurangabadA complaint of "cheating" has been filed against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and two other leaders in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district for seeking votes in the name of Hindutva, but not forming government with pre-poll ally BJP, an official said.
A written application against Uddhav Thackeray and two other party leaders was submitted at the Begumpura Police Station in Aurangabad district.
Will not blindly oppose Cong-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra: IUML
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) will not "blindly oppose" the Congress' move to form government with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, said its national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty said.
Top Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge, its state leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat and Naseem Khan, and NCP leaders Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil and Nawab Malik were part of the Thursday's meeting.
Shiv Sena MPs will meet at the Thackerays' residence Matoshree in Mumbai on Friday
Shiv Sena MPs will meet at the Thackerays' residence Matoshree in Mumbai on Friday. Earlier in the day, the Congress and the NCP held separate meetings with its top central and state leaders. They have also been in touch with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
There is complete unanimity between the two parties": Prithviraj Chavan
Will go to Mumbai tomorrow to discuss further: Congress
"Discussions completed on all issues. We will go to Mumbai tomorrow, we'll have a meet with out pre-poll alliance partners, and after that, we will follow it up with Cong-NCP-Sena discussions. As soon as they are completed, the media will be briefed on architecture of proposed alliance," Prithviraj Chavan
Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar are likely to attend the joint meetings that will take place in Mumbai, where power sharing and other formalities will be discussed. Sources tell NDTV that most of the obstacles have been cleared and the three parties could join hands and form the government by Sunday.
Maharashtra came under President's Rule after all the parties failed to form a government in the state. The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths. Shiv Sena is trying to cobble an alliance with the NCP and the Congress to form an alliance in the state. The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.
Sonia Gandhi advised to "go ahead" at CWC meet on Maharashtra, sources say
The Congress's top decision-making body met at party chief Sonia Gandhi's home this morning to discuss the possibility of being part of the government in the state. Sources say Sonia Gandhi was advised to "go ahead" with the Maharashtra alliance, despite her reservations, and told that the "greater enemy, in order to fight communalism, is the BJP". Final talks may take place in Mumbai.
On Wednesday, Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge had briefed party interim president Sonia Gandhi about their meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. After briefing Gandhi, the three Congress leaders again returned to Pawar's residence. According to reports, the Congress and NCP leaders also held talks with Shiv Sena leadership over the phone and got a positive response.
The Congress-NCP leaders are also scheduled to hold meetings with the Shiv Sena leadership tomorrow in Mumbai, after which the announcements related to government formation might be made.
"We have apprised the CWC members of the latest political situation in Maharashtra. Today, Congress-NCP discussion will continue. I think, tomorrow, we will probably have a decision in Mumbai," Congress leader KC Venugopal was quoted as saying by news agency.
"The Congress Working Committee today discussed and decided what steps need to be taken ahead. We will now take steps as decided in the meeting," says senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
Maharashtra Government Formation: Why Sonia Gandhi Has Kept Shiv Sena Waiting Despite Pressure From Within
Just when it seemed to be coming around to the idea of backing the Shiv Sena in forming government in Maharashtra despite their huge ideological mismatch, the Congress took a step back and said there was no decision yet. The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party's top decision-making body, has authorized party president Sonia Gandhi to take the final call."
All eyes are now on Sonia Gandhi with Congress's ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Sharad Pawar stressing that it will decide on whether and how to support the Sena only when the Congress arrives at its decision.
"Whatever decision is to be taken will be taken only after discussions with the Congress," said Sharad Pawar, making it clear that the ball is in the court of the Congress. After a meeting of the NCP core group, a party leader repeated the statement.
Congress top body meeting underway in New Delhi
The Congress Working Committee is meeting underway to discuss the possibility of government formation in Maharashtra. Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi had been reluctant to join hands with the Shiv Sena, which has for years targeted the party and maintains a pro-Hindutva stand.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have decided to continue their talks to decide the possibility of government formation with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Both the parties will hold join meeting today also, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said.