Maharashtra government formation: Several big ticket names left the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) just before the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections held in October. The general sense in state's political circles was the Congress-NCP has given up the poll fight and was fighting a defensive battle. The tables turned quickly after elections results. While BJP remains single largest party in the state, the Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did the unthinkable and are now well on their way to form a government in the state with the outside support of Congress.
Now, sources have told India TV that 10 BJP MLAs are holding talks with the NCP to join the party. Former Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar has also said a few days ago that 6 BJP MLAs are in touch with him. If this is true then not only Sena-NCP-Congress will get a boost to their efforts of government formation, it will also dent the image of Maharashtra BJP's 'invincible' image.
Those who quit the NCP before elections include big names like Ganesh Naik, Sachin Ahir, Jaydutta Kshirsagar among others.
On Friday, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil made a claim that BJP, which has 105 MLAs in the state assembly, has the support of 119 MLAs in total. Shiv Sena took potshots at Patil's claim in the editorial of party mouthpiece Saamana.
“Those with 105 seats had earlier conveyed to the governor that they do not have the majority. How come are they now claiming that only they will form the government?" Sena said in Saamana.
It also hit out at former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis over his remark that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance won't last beyond six months and said that the new political equation was giving "stomach ache to several people".
Maharashtra has been under President’s rule since November 12 after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari conveyed to President Ram Nath Kovind that no party or alliance was in the position to form the government.
(Inputs from Dinesh Maurya)