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How a phone call between Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar changed political dynamics of Maharashtra

The Sena is trying to form a non-BJP government in the state with the support of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). On Monday night, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party could not submit the requisite letter of support to the governor.

India TV Politics Desk Edited by: India TV Politics Desk
New Delhi Published on: November 12, 2019 12:03 IST

As the turmoil over government formation in Maharashtra intensifies, the NCP and the Congress are holding meetings to discuss their support to the Shiv Sena. While a meeting over extension of support to the Sena was underway at New Delhi's 10 Janpath on Monday, a phone call received by NCP chief Sharad Pawar lead to a drastic turn of events in the state politics. 

According to sources, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi had called to speak with Sharad Pawar. As both the leaders discussed their future course of action over extending their support to the Shiv Sena, Sonia Gandhi learned that the NCP has not submitted its letter of support to the Sena. 

The information shared by Sharad Pawar escalated tensions within the Congress party as Sonia Gandhi directed for a change in their party plans. 

Meanwhile, talking to reporters, sources in the Congress party said nothing has been finalised over the extension of support to the Shiv Sena. Sonia Gandhi is in contact with Sharad Pawar for the same, they said. 

The NCP, which is the third-largest party in Maharashtra, on Monday night got an invite from Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asking it to express "willingness and ability to form a government", shortly after the Shiv Sena failed to submit the "requisite letter of support".

The Sena is trying to form a non-BJP government in the state with the support of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). 

On Monday night, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party could not submit the requisite letter of support to the governor.

With 54 MLAs, the NCP is the third-largest party after the BJP (105) and the Shiv Sena (56) in the 288-member House where the halfway mark in 145. 

Congress has 44 MLAs.

Following his meet with the governor, state unit NCP president Jayant Patil said the party will discuss the issue with its ally, the Congress, and get back to the governor by or before 8:30 pm on Tuesday.

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