Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said it would take "100 births" to understand what Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar says. The remark comes a day after the NCP chief gave a baffling response to queries on forming a coalition government in Maharashtra with ally Congress and ideologically opposite Shiv Sena.
Mr Pawar on Monday met with Congress president Sonia Gandhi to explore the feasibility of forming a government with Sena. Before the meeting, he was asked if the alliance between the three parties will take place. The NCP chief, in response, gave a cryptic reply.
"Shiv Sena-BJP contested separately, NCP-Congress contested separately, how can you say that? They (BJP-Sena) have to find their own way. We will do our own politics," said the 79-year-old, an expert in dodging media questions.
Reporters persisted: "But Shiv Sena is saying we will make a government along with Pawar Saheb...?"
Mr Pawar's one-word response was: "Accha? (Really?)"
Despite the NCP chief's confounding reply, Mr Raut today assured a Shiv Sena-led government will be formed in Maharashtra by December.
"You don't worry about Pawar and our alliance. Very soon, by early-December, a Shiv Sena-led alliance government will be in power in Maharashtra. It will be a stable government," he was quoted by news agency IANS as saying.
He claimed there are no doubts over government formation but the media is creating confusion over it.
After meeting Mrs Gandhi at her residence in Delhi yesterday, Mr Pawar said Maharashtra government formation didn't come up.
"We have to sort out some more issues, we have not discussed forming an alliance with any party yet," Sharad Pawar told reporters on Monday evening, giving the impression that a Sena-NCP-Congress alliance may not be a done deal yet.
The Shiv Sena and BJP had contested the Maharashtra assembly election as allies and together got a majority in the 288-strong assembly. After the polls, however, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party's claim that BJP chief Amit Shah had promised rotational chief ministership, caused friction between the two partners.
After BJP -- the largest party -- refused to stake claim, and the President's rule was imposed, Shiv Sena approached the NCP and Congress.
Mr Pawar last week said the three parties will form government in Maharashtra which will complete a full term. It was also reported that after hectic discussions, they had agreed on a common minimum agenda.
With inputs from IANS