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Maharashtra govt formation: Sonia Gandhi rules out possibility of alliance with Shiv Sena

After meeting NCP leader Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Monday, Sonia Gandhi has said that the Congress party will not extend its support to the Shiv Sena. Moreover, sources have said the Congress may support the Shiv Sena in case it decides to move out of its alliance with the BJP. The meeting between Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar had lasted for over an hour.

India TV Politics Desk Edited by: India TV Politics Desk
New Delhi Updated on: November 05, 2019 8:17 IST

Hours after Sonia Gandhi met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on Monday, the interim president of the Congress party said she would not extend support to the Shiv Sena for government formation in Maharashtra. The meeting between Gandhi and Pawar came amid the stalemate between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party over power-sharing in the state. Pawar, however, maintained suspense over the issue after meeting Sonia Gandhi. 

Addressing the media after the meeting, the NCP supremo, flanked by Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel, said, "The NCP-Congress has been given the mandate to sit in the opposition. Also, we don't have the numbers. Only those who have numbers should form the government."​ Pawar had also said that he is not in the race for the Chief Minister's post.

In the meeting that lasted over half an hour, sources said the two leaders discussed the possibilities of forming an alternative government and support the Shiv Sena in case it decides to move out of its alliance with the BJP.

The two leaders were earlier expected to meet in the afternoon but Pawar had to attend a parliamentary standing committee meeting.

They are learnt to have discussed the current political situation in Maharashtra after a tussle between the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena, which is playing hardball on the issue of chief minister's post and demanding an equal division of the tenure of the chief minister.

The BJP is not agreeing to the demand.

The BJP and the Sena are locked in a bitter dispute over the issue, resulting in a stalemate over government formation despite results of the Assembly polls on October 24 giving the saffron alliance a combined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House.

In the polls, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.

Also Read | Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi amid political stalemate in Maharashtra

Also Read | People have asked NCP to sit in the opposition, we accept mandate: Sharad Pawar​