‘There was no delay from our side’: Congress
The Congress’ press conference by Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge came after BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister with the support of Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as his deputy in a stunning turn of events.Updated: Nov 23, 2019 14:44 IST
There was no delay by the Congress party in reaching out to the Shiv Sena and NCP in their efforts to form an alliance in Maharashtra, senior party leader Ahmed Patel said on Saturday as the BJP formed a government with NCP’s Ajit Pawar.
The Congress’ press conference by Ahmed Patel and Mallikarjun Kharge came after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister with the support of Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as his deputy in a stunning turn of events.
It was also held minutes after a similar address by the Nationalist Congress Party’s president Sharad Pawar and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Sharad Pawar called his nephew Ajit Pawar’s decision to ally with the BJP “indiscipline” and that the party will take a decision against him later in the day.
“We were on board on everything. We were to meet at 12.30pm today. The Congress is sticking with the alliance. We are all together, both legally and politically,” Ahmed Patel said.
Patel’s comments also came after his party colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted that the talks between the parties were long-drawn.
“Surreal wht I read abt #Maharashtra. Thought it was fake news.Candidly &personally speaking, our tripartite negotiations shd not have gone on for more than 3 days...took too long. Window given was grabbed by fast movers. #pawarji tussi grt ho! Amazing if true, still not sure (sic),” Singhvi tweeted earlier in the day.
It wasn’t clear whether the reference in his tweet was to Sharad Pawar or his nephew Ajit Pawar.
Patel expressed confidence that the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena will be able to form a government in Maharashtra. The senior Congress leader also said the scheduled meeting of the three parties will go ahead as per schedule.
“We will discuss all pending issues, including who will be the leader of the alliance. This press conference is just to clarify any doubt and to inform you all that the alliance is intact,” he said.
“All the three parties are together in this and I am confident we will defeat the BJP in the trust vote. All Congress MLAs are present here except two, who are right now in their village. But they too are with us,” the member of Rajya Sabha said.
The Congress and NCP were in talks with the Shiv Sena till late on Friday night to form a government in the western state. Ajit Pawar was also present in the meeting.
It was widely expected that the three parties will hold a press conference any time to announce the modalities of their power-sharing agreement and claim to form the government.
The BJP staked claim to form the government late on Friday after which Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the Centre to withdraw the rule in Maharashtra on Saturday morning stunning everyone.