Millennium Post

Mahayuti to stake claim after Sonia-Pawar meet

New Delhi: The newly formed Mahayuti (grand alliance) is set to claim government formation in Maharashtra after Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's meeting, which is scheduled on Monday.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has also hardened its stand and has decided to not attend the NDA meeting on Sunday. The sitting arrangements of the Sena has also changed in the Parliament as the party, which was once a key ally of NDA, would now sit in the opposition side.

According to party insiders, both the leaders would discuss about the alliance with newly entrant Shiv Sena. Allies Congress and NCP have already worked out a common minimum programme (CMP) with the Sena for the government.

Sources in the Congress and NCP said the draft CMP and allocation of portfolios between the three parties will be discussed in the meeting.

The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are busy discussing the nitty-gritty of government formation in the state which is under President's rule since November 12 after the BJP-Sena alliance fell apart over the issue of sharing of chief minister's post.

"The meeting of Gandhi and Pawar is scheduled for Monday. The Pawar would reach Delhi on Sunday evening. Both the leaders would discuss the issues pertaining to government formation in Maharashtra as well as their strategy to counter government in the Parliament," the party source said, adding that the Congress will be the part of the government.

On the issue of accommodation of senior Congress leaders of Maharashtra, the party sources said that the party's former chief ministers would not be the part of the government.

The BJP and Shiv Sena contested the October 21 assembly polls together and won 105 and 56 seats, respectively, securing a comfortable majority in the 288-member house.

The two parties, however, fell out after the Sena persisted with its demand of sharing the chief minister's post, which the BJP declined.

Sena leader Sanjay Raut also said that formal severance of ties with the BJP-led NDA was now only a formality. The Sena also accused the BJP of having intentions to indulge in "horse-trading" in the state, which is under President's rule since November 12.

"I have learned that the meeting (of NDA constituents) is being held on November 17. We had already decided against attending the meeting considering the developments in Maharashtra...our minister resigning from the Central government," Sanjay Raut said.

He also said that "we want Uddhav ji to lead the government in Maharashtra".

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