The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has said that a final decision on the formation of the next government in Maharashtra by the proposed Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena ally will be taken in the next couple of days.
Nawab Malik, the National spokesperson of the NCP, told media persons that NCP President Sharad Pawar will meet interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday, followed by a meeting of the top leaders of both the parties on Tuesday.
"Thereafter, the government formation process will be finalised," Malik said, declining to elaborate.
Malik made it clear that the objective was to give "a stable government" to the state and any decision would be taken only in consultation with the Congress in the matter.
He said that the NCP core committee meeting presided over by Pawar included several top state leaders and discussed in-depth the prevailing political scenario in the state and the government formation issues, 24 days after the October Assembly election results were declared.
A BJP-Shiv Sena alliance on cards?
In a related development, Bharatiya Janata Party's Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Raosaheb Danve-Patil, said that there is a possibility of the BJP-Sena returning to power again soon with a BJP Chief Minister.
"Such a situation would not have arisen had Balasaheb Thackeray been alive today. We shall work according to the formula agreed upon by him and the late Pramod Mahajan," Danve-Patil said.
He said that as per the formula of 1995, the party with higher number of legislators would get the Chief Minister's post while the other partner with lesser number of seats would get the Deputy Chief Minister's post.
Simultaneously, Ramdas Athawale, President of the Republican Party of India and Union Minister of State for Social Justice, declared that it would not be possible for the Sena to form a government in alliance with Congress-NCP.
"They cannot form a government with Congress-NCP... It is better if the Sena returns to the BJP fold and forms the government as soon as possible for the progress of the state," Athawale said.
Athawale added that after he requested BJP President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to mediate in the matter, Shah had told him not to worry as everything will be sorted out soon and a BJP-Sena government will come to power.
Sena-NCP-Congress govt in Maharashtra
Meanwhile, authoritative sources in the Sena indicated that most aspects pertaining to government formation among the three prospective partners -- Sena-NCP-Congress -- have been already finalised and Sena President Uddhav Thackeray is likely to become the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
There are purported grand plans in the offing for a swearing-in ceremony in Mumbai with the probable presence of several non-BJP Chief Ministers from different states, though the full details are still being worked out.
Rejecting the old formula of 1995, sources said it has no meaning now that the Bharatiya Janata Party has snapped ties with Sena and even ejected it out of the ruling NDA, making its MPs sit with the Opposition in the winter session of Parliament starting Monday.