The Maharashtra imbroglio showed no signs of resolving Wednesday, with NCP’s Ajit Pawar saying in the evening the party’s meeting with the Congress to fix a common minimum programme had been called off, only for the meeting to continue and the NCP saying they were “trying to throw off the media”.
Ajit Pawar had told a media delegation outside Sharad Pawar’s residence that the meeting had been cancelled, and he was heading to Baramati as he didn’t know when it would be reconvened.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik later said the meeting was very much on.
Meanwhile, party chief Sharad Pawar was quoted by PTI as saying: “Ajit Pawar is very much in Mumbai…he will meet you tomorrow. Your (media) vehicles start following him if he says anything jokingly. This evades privacy. Hence, he (Ajit) did it (statement on visiting Baramati) deliberately…If you want to distort things, don’t come here (Pawar’s residence) tomorrow.”
Earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah finally broke his silence over the Maharashtra developments, saying the Shiv Sena’s new conditions, laid down after the election results, were unacceptable to the BJP. He also said the Governor had not denied anyone the chance to form a government. “Even today, if anyone has the numbers, they can approach the Governor. The Governor has not denied the chance to anyone. A learned lawyer like Kapil Sibal is putting forth childish arguments like ‘we were denied a chance to form govt’,” Shah told ANI.
Sibal was the lawyer for the Shiv Sena’s plea in Supreme Court against the Governor refusing them an extension to stake claim for government formation. The Sena, however, did not mention the plea before the Supreme Court Wednesday, saying they were considering a fresh petition against the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
In the morning, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray met state Congress leaders, and said their talks were “progressing in the right direction”.
The Congress leaders, including state party chief Balasaheb Thorat, former chief minister Ashok Chavan and former MPCC chief Manikrao Thakare, also met Sena leader Sanjay Raut at Leelavati hospital, from where he was discharged today.
Both Raut and Sharad Pawar Wednesday ruled out the possibility of fresh elections in the state.
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