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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Structured talks, anti-defection strategy: Cong, NCP, Sena has it all planned

Maharashtra has been in political turmoil since October 24 when assembly election results were announced, giving 105 seats to the BJP, 56 to Shiv Sena, 54 to NCP and 44 to the Congress in the House of 288 where the halfway mark is 145.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2019 15:39 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
While the BJP and Sena fought the elections together they had trouble coming to an agreement about portfolios and about a shared Chief Minister deal with both parties hardening their positions over the issue.
While the BJP and Sena fought the elections together they had trouble coming to an agreement about portfolios and about a shared Chief Minister deal with both parties hardening their positions over the issue.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
         

Indicating that talks for forming a government in Maharashtra were moving in a structured manner and in the right direction, NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Wednesday said that his party and the Congress will first decide the power-sharing formula and then take the proposal to the Shiv Sena. He also warned legislators against any moves to defect saying the three parties had a plan in place to tackle those who switch sides.

“Top leaders from the Congress and NCP — Ahmed Patel and Pawar saheb — have cleared all the confusions in a joint press conference held on Tuesday evening. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray too clarified his stand on talks with the Congress and NCP immediately after that. I think everything is very clear about alliance between all the three parties,” Ajit Pawar said, a day after the state was placed under President’s rule.

Watch| NCP holds core meeting day after President’s rule imposed in Maharashtra

 

Laying out the formula worked out for the talks, Pawar said, “The Congress and NCP are allies and thus understanding between us is important. We will first discuss the common minimum programme and sharing of important positions. Get it cleared from leadership of both the parties and then will start discussions with Shiv Sena.”

The three parties, Pawar said, had also worked out a plan to counter defectors, if any. “No MLA will leave their respective parties at this point of time. Despite that, if an MLA decides to take such a step than we have decided all three parties (Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena) will come together and will field a joint candidate against him/her in the bypolls. If four of the three parties comes together than no MLA will get re-elected,” he said.

The statement comes in response to BJP leader Narayan Rane, who on Tuesday had said that they will do whatever is possible to form the government. The remarks alerted the political parties, wary after recent Karnataka developments when 17 legislators rebelled against the ruling coalition (JD-S, Congress), which eventually brought down the Kumaraswamy government.

Maharashtra has been in political turmoil since October 24 when assembly election results were announced, giving 105 seats to the BJP, 56 to Shiv Sena, 54 to NCP and 44 to the Congress in the House of 288 where the halfway mark is 145.

While the BJP and Sena fought the elections together they had trouble coming to an agreement about portfolios and about a shared Chief Minister deal with both parties hardening their positions over the issue.

Governor Koshyari first invited the BJP to form the government on Saturday, but after the saffron party said it was not in position to show majority, he invited the Shiv Sena to form government on Sunday. The Shiv Sena, however, could not present required letters of support while staking their claim and sought more time which was disallowed.

Subsequently, Koshyari invited the NCP to form the government in the state on Monday evening giving a deadline of 8 pm Tuesday. But, even before the deadline could expire, the union Cabinet recommended President’s rule.