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Maharashtra Government Formation HIGHLIGHTS: Kharge, Antony, Ahmed Patel meet Sonia Gandhi in Delhi

Maharashtra Government Formation HIGHLIGHTS: The broad understanding between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena has been worked out by Sharad Pawar who, sources said, was the “moving spirit” behind the efforts to prop up a non-BJP government. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 20, 2019 10:03:59 am
maharashtra government, maharashtra, maharashtra news, maharashtra election, maharashtra govt formation, maharashtra govt formation 2019, maharashtra government formation, maharashtra government formation 2019, maharashtra government formation live news, maharashtra election results 2019, maharashtra election results 2019 news, maharashtra election live news, maharashtra election news, maharashtra election live news updates Maharashtra government formation LIVE updates: The Shiv Sena is in talks with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party to cobble up an alliance that would give them a shot at forming the government in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Government Formation HIGHLIGHTS: Even as negotiations are underway for a three-party coalition government in Maharashtra, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday chaired a meeting with senior party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, A K Antony and Ahmed Patel at her residence in New Delhi. The meeting comes a day after Gandhi had held discussions with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena said it will “uproot” its long-time ally BJP for “challenging” the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. “It is the beginning of the end of politics of arrogance,” it said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana. Likening the saffron party to 13th-century invader Muhammad Ghori who killed Prithviraj Chauhan despite the legendary king sparing his life several times, Sena said, “Even in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has spared such ungrateful people several times and now they are trying to back-stab us.”

According to sources, a power-sharing deal has tentatively been reached between the Sena-Congress-NCP to end the political uncertainty in the state. Sources suggest that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will be at the helm, with no rotation policy for the post of the chief minister. There will be two Deputy Chief Ministers — one each from the NCP and Congress and the Speaker’s post can be decided by both the parties. The broad understanding has been worked out by Pawar who, sources said, was the “moving spirit” behind the efforts to prop up a non-BJP government.

Amid the turmoil in the state, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Tuesday tweeted, “Agar zindagi mein kuch paana ho to tareeke badlo iraade nahi.” (One should amend his ways and not his plans, in order to achieve something in life). Raut Monday met NCP chief Sharad Pawar after the Maratha strongman’s discussions with Sonia Gandhi and expressed confidence that the state would soon get a government led by his party.

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Maharashtra government formation: Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena are trying to come together to keep BJP at bay in the state. Follow HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights

    21:39 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Name of likely alliance with Sena to be discussed in NCP-Cong meeting tomorrow

    NCP and Congress leaders are expected to discuss the name of their likely alliance with Shiv Sena during the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, PTI quoted an NCP leader as saying.

    The Congress and the NCP are not comfortable with the name 'Maha Shiv Aghadi' (a grand alliance comprising the Shiv Sena), the leader said. "We don't want name of any party in the alliance. Even in the NDA and the UPA alliances don't have names of parties," the leader added.

    -PTI inputs

    18:13 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Cong leaders meet Maharashtra Guv Koshyari

    Congress leaders met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank issue.

    16:21 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Takes time to form govt: Sena's Raut on December deadline comment

    When asked about his comment on the December deadline to form the state government, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said:  "It takes time to form a government. You need to go through a lot of processes when it comes to the President's Rule," ANI reported.

    Raut on Monday said that his government will form a coalition government in Maharashtra by the first week of December. The state is presently under the President's Rule.

    16:03 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Sonia Gandhi meets party leaders, INC to meet NCP tomorrow

    Top Congress leaders — Ahmed Patel, A K Antony, K C Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge - discuss Maharashtra govt formation issue with Sonia Gandhi. INC leaders will now meet NCP leaders tomorrow.

    14:22 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Editorial: By propping up Sena, Congress plays fast and loose with the mandate — and its projection of itself as secular and inclusive

    As the Congress moves towards sealing an alliance with the Shiv Sena, talks to it about a possible power-sharing arrangement in Maharashtra, along with Sharad Pawar’s NCP, it is a significant moment in its career which sends out consequential signals. By thinking of allying with the Sena, the Congress signals a willingness to be counted in the same frame with a political force it has, as a self-professedly inclusive party, defined itself in opposition to — after an electoral verdict, moreover, which relegated it to fourth place, and one, therefore, that scarcely gives it a mandate to rule.

    It is no secret that the Congress is beset with a grave crisis in a BJP-dominated polity, in which it is called upon to redefine what it stands for. At a time like this, an alliance with the Shiv Sena, no matter what the common minimum programme may be, raises serious questions for political stability and governance in Maharashtra. It will also resonate beyond in other states where elections are due. Read more, here

    14:00 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Maharashtra government formation: Sonia Gandhi holds meeting at her residence

    Amid the negotiations in Maharashtra, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi has called for a meeting at her residence. Party leaders Ahmed Patel, AK Antony and Mallikarjun Kharge are present at the meeting to discuss the political situation in Maharashtra

    13:41 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Pawar stresses on Uddhav Thackeray as CM face

    During discussions before the understanding was reached between the three parties, sources said, Sena’s Thane strongman Eknath Shinde was among those being considered for the top job. Shinde had been an earlier elected leader of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party. The names of Sena leader Subhash Desai and Uddhav’s son Aaditya Thackeray had also gained circulation.

    However, sources said, Sharad Pawar was clear that Uddhav would need to be at the helm to give heft and standing to the arrangement. Desai and Shinde did not inspire confidence among the coalition partners, while Aaditya was considered too young to head a government that would include senior leaders such as Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal.

    13:14 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Amid Maharashtra deal, Uddhav Thackeray to postpone Ayodhya visit?

    Uddhav is expected to visit Delhi soon. But sources said he has deferred his proposed visit on November 24 to Ayodhya as it would not be in sync with the politics of his new allies. In the wake of the supreme court judgment on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri masjid land title dispute on November 9, Thackeray had announced he would visit the temple town in Uttar Pradesh on November 24.

    12:38 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Sena equates 'ungrateful' BJP with Muhammad Ghori's 'treachery'

    Likening its long-time ally BJP to 13th-century invader Muhammad Ghori who killed Prithviraj Chauhan despite the legendary king sparing his life several times, Sena Tuesday said there are similar people in Maharashtra trying to back-stab the party.

    "Muhammad of Ghor, said to have laid the foundation of Islamic rule in India, fought several battles with Hindu king Prithviraj Chauhan and the latter always spared him (after defeat). But when the invader won a battle, he killed Prithviraj Chauhan. Even in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has spared such ungrateful people several times and now they are trying to back-stab us," the editorial said, without mentioning the BJP by name.

    12:19 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    It is the beginning of the end of politics of arrogance: Sena's warning to BJP

    Shiv Sena, in its editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, attacked the BJP for changing the seating arrangement in Parliament and alloting Sena the seats on the opposition side. "Who decided our sitting arrangement when there was no meeting of the NDA held for the same? Earlier, Lal Krishna Advani was the chief of the NDA and George Fernandes was its convener. Who is the chief and convener of the NDA today?" the Sena asked in the editorial.

    Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi had said the decision was made as Sena's minister - Arvind Sawant - had resigned from the Union government. Sena also attacked the saffron party for taking the decision on the death anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray. "When the whole country was paying tribute to Balasaheb Thackeray who was one of the founders of NDA, these people removed Sena from NDA. The heads of the party (BJP) today would have been kids when the Sena supported the BJP to form the National Democratic Alliance. This haste will result in some serious accident for sure. It is the beginning of the end of politics of arrogance," the editorial added.

    11:45 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Maharashtra power sharing deal: Sena likely to walk away with highest number of portfolios

    Under the arrangement, sources said, the 42 portfolios will be shared according to the strength of the three parties in the new Assembly. The Sena has 56 seats in the 288-member House followed by NCP (54) and Congress with (44) — the portfolio split could likely be 15, 14 and 13 in that order.

    11:22 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Opinion: Why Congress should give a second thought to allying with Shiv Sena

    To see Congress’s compromise with the Shiv Sena, which was the first to have proudly claimed responsibility for the demolition of the Babri Masjid, was the last thing one could have imagined. By considering doing so, it has made it clear that the language of Hindutva will now be the common political language, writes Apoorvanand. Read more here

    11:17 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Looks like Congress-NCP still undecided over extending support to Sena: BJP spokesperson

    Senior BJP leader and party’s chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, “It appears to me that the Congress-NCP is still undecided on extending support to the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra.”

    What has amused the BJP cadre is the manner in which Congress-NCP has been keeping the Shiv Sena on tenterhooks. A BJP functionary, requesting anonymity, said, “Both central and state BJP leaders always look up to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray with reverence. Whenever there was an important policy or political decision, they would go to Matoshree (residence of Thackeray). Now Thackeray is being made to run helter-skelter…”

    11:13 (IST)19 Nov 2019
    Maharshtra govt: Congress, NCP driving 'hard bargain'

    The Congress and the NCP, sources said, will “drive a hard bargain” and extract their “pound of flesh” because the Sena “is not in a position to dictate terms anymore” after cutting ties with the BJP and NDA. The two parties will have to balance the ideological loss of aligning with the Sena with some political gains, they said. Besides, sources said, there are still some reservations within the NCP about giving the Chief Minister’s post to the Sena for the full term.

    11:04 (IST)19 Nov 2019

    Welcome to The Indian Express liv blog on Maharashtra government formation. After his meeting with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said both the parties will would hold further talks in the coming days on government formation in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the three parties will form a government in the state. Follow this space to track the latest developments

    Maharashtra govt formation: Uddhav Thackeray CM for five years; congress shiv sena ncp deputy cm NCP chief Sharad Pawar arrives at the residence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday. (Express Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

    After a meeting that lasted for nearly 50 minutes with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence in New Delhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar Monday said his party will hold talks with their allies in Maharashtra on government formation.

    The NCP chief, however, kept his cards close to his chest while speaking to reporters. “We have discussed in detail the political situation in Maharashtra… We will keep an eye on the situation in Maharashtra. Congress and NCP leaders will hold further talks on the future course of action,” Pawar said.

    “Sharad Pawar met the Congress President today and briefed her on the situation in Maharashtra. It was decided that in a day or two, representatives from NCP and Congress will meet in Delhi to discuss the way forward,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.

    Congress and NCP leaders have held a series of meetings in the last few days to finalise the modalities for a Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra.

    After the core meeting, NCP state chief Jayant Patil claimed that several BJP MLAs were in touch with the party. “Many BJP MLAs, especially those who had left NCP before the polls, are in touch with us. They want to return to the party,” he said.

    The BJP, on the other hand, said it is not in any hurry and is closely watching the three parties. "The party’s strategy is to allow everybody a chance to explore all possible options. We are confident we have done nothing wrong," party’s chief spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.

    Maharashtra was placed under the President’s rule on November 12 after no party or alliance staked claim to form government in the state. In the October 21 Maharashtra polls, the BJP-Sena saffron alliance had secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and the NCP, pre-poll allies, had won 44 and 54 seats respectively.

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