Hours after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut met Sharad Pawar, the NCP supremo confirmed that his party is not going to make attempts to form the government in Maharashtra. Pawar said that the only viable option is a Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in the state.
Addressing a press conference, Sharad Pawar said, "The BJP-Sena are allies since over 25 years. They should take immediate steps to give the state a new government. The people have given the NCP-Congress the mandate to sit in the Opposition and we are prepared for it."
Pawar reiterated the party's known position on the issue amid the charged political atmosphere in Maharashtra. He said that an NCP-Congress government - even with support from the Sena - was out of the question, but the two parties will take any decision in the matter jointly.
Indirectly endorsing Sena's stance, Pawar said he was "eagerly looking forward" to see a Shiv Sena-led government in the state. To a query, Pawar said there is "no proposal" from the Shiv Sena on the issue of government formation, here on Wednesday.
"Yes Sanjay Raut (Sena MP) met me, as he regularly meets me. There is no proposal (on government formation) from the Sena," Pawar claimed, addressing a crowded media gathering. He admitted that Raut had shown a list of 170 MLAs who are supporting the Sena, but added: "I have no idea how he (Raut) has got the figures".
Power tussle in Maharashtra continues
Responding to a question, Pawar contended that he was not involved in the government formation efforts in the state between the BJP-Sena. He said first let the BJP make the government since presently, there is only one option available - a BJP-Sena government as per the people's mandate.
Pawar urged the two warring allies to end the political instability in the state and make efforts to give a stable government. In his initial reactions to Pawar's statements, Raut dared the BJP again saying that "those who have 105 MLAs should form the government".
With this, he indirectly made it clear that the Sena pressure on the BJP would continue as far the post of Chief Minister was concerned, something the latter is not willing to concede.
(With agency inputs)