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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Uddhav Thackeray’s challenge: To prove majority to form the government

The Sena, if it decides to go with the NCP-Congress, would have to formally exit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2019 10:18 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Thackeray along with Aaditya Thackeray, Eknath Shinde, Sanjay Raut and other senior party functionaries were in a huddle till late on Sunday night to chalk out the course of action.
Thackeray along with Aaditya Thackeray, Eknath Shinde, Sanjay Raut and other senior party functionaries were in a huddle till late on Sunday night to chalk out the course of action.(HT Photo)
         

As Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited the Shiv Sena, the second-largest party, to indicate its willingness and ability to form the government in the state, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar spoke to each other on the phone, a senior party leader said.

The two leaders are said to have spoken on the way forward on the possible coalition between the two parties to stake claim to form the government. Thackeray faces the challenge of showing support of 145 MLAs on Monday to get a go-ahead from Governor Koshyari to form the government. The Sena, which has been working on a coalition with the NCP and Congress for a few days now, has started its move to get the numbers in place. According to a senior Sena leader, Thackeray and Pawar had a brief discussion on Sunday evening.

Thackeray along with Aaditya Thackeray, Eknath Shinde, Sanjay Raut and other senior party functionaries were in a huddle till late on Sunday night to chalk out the course of action. Party functionaries also said the Sena could seek time from the Governor on Monday to gather their numbers.

 Also Watch | ‘Sena insulted mandate’: BJP tells Maharashtra Governor it can’t form govt

Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut is expected to meet Pawar on Monday morning and later he could also go to New Delhi to meet senior Congress leaders, party insiders said. The Sena has also convened a meeting of legislators on Monday morning.

The Sena, if it decides to go with the NCP-Congress, would have to formally exit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The lone minister of the Sena in the central government, Arvind Sawant, would have to resign before the Sena stake claim. Thackeray, who is firm on installing a Shiv Sainik as the chief minister in the state, has maintained extreme secrecy about his moves. On Sunday, Thackeray expressed confidence to the party legislators that he would get a Sena person on the CM’s chair. Speaking to the legislators at The Retreat Hotel in Madh Island, Malad, Thackeray said he would not carry the palanquin for others anymore and now he will ensure that a Shiv Sainik will sit inside the palanquin, suggesting that he would put a Sena legislator on the CM chair.

Raut met Sena chief met Thackeray after the BJP declined the governor’s invitation to form the government, and asserted that someone from his party will become the chief minister in Maharashtra. “Party chief Uddhav Thackeray ji clearly said today that the CM will be from Sena. If Uddhav ji has said so, it means there will be a CM from the Sena at any cost,” he asserted.