Senior Congress leaders K C Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge, who were supposed to come to
Mumbai on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a tie-up with the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra have deferred their visit. Instead, state Congress leaders will hold discussions with the NCP during a meeting today at around 4 pm in Mumbai.
Senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakre said the visit of top Congress leaders to Mumbai has been cancelled on the request of NCP chief Sharad Pawar. “Pawarsaheb has said the meeting with top leaders can be held in two days time. Before that, he has said leaders of both the parties in Maharashtra will discuss the future course of action today,” he said.
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Thakre said they might also hold discussion with the Shiv Sena leaders. “If required we will hold discussion with the Shiv Sena,” he said. Thakre said there are “certain things” which will be clarified today.
The Congress virtually dashed Shiv Sena’s hopes of forming a government under its leadership in Maharashtra as the party looked reluctant to enter into an alliance with the latter. “Congress was not comfortable with Sena’s stand on Ram temple construction and Uniform Civil Code,” said a Sena functionary.
Sources said both Sonia and former chief Rahul Gandhi were not in favour of backing a Sena-led government. The Congress high command, however, did not rule out any possibility publicly and kept the Sena waiting.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut who is admitted to Lilavati Hospital following complaints of chest pain, in a tweet said, “Koshish karne walo ki haar nahi hoti ..Hum honge kaamyaab.”
In another development, Shiv Sena leaders Uddhav Thackeray and Aditya Thackeray will hold discussions with Sena MLAs and brief them about development.