Millennium Post

Want to ask Sanjay Raut how he will get 170: Pawar

Want to ask Sanjay Raut how he will get 170: Pawar

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said a BJP-Shiv Sena government is the only viable option in Maharashtra, and the two parties should take power instead of plunging the state into a constitutional crisis.

"The BJP-Sena have been allies for over 25 years. They should take immediate steps to give the state a new government," Pawar said, speaking to reporters after his meeting with Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, the second since the BJP-Sena feud following the Maharashtra election results on October 24.

Soon after Pawar's discussions with Raut, Sena ministers joined a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other ministers on crop damage in Maharashtra.

To a question on Raut's claim that the Sena has the support of more than 170 members, more than the majority mark of 145 in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, Pawar made it clear that the calculation did not include his party and the Congress.

"Even I want to ask Sanjay Raut how he will get 170," Pawar said.

He reiterated that the NCP and Congress had the mandate to sit in opposition.

"People have told us to sit in Opposition. We have 54; you can't form a government with that," the NCP leader said.

He added that an NCP-Congress government, even with support from the Sena, was out of the question.

Pawar's meetings with the Sena MP and Congress President Sonia Gandhi signalled his role in crafting an arrangement in which the opposition parties back the Sena to keep the BJP out of power.

But in his meeting with Sonia Gandhi on Monday, Pawar failed to get her around to supporting a Sena-led government.

"The Congress position on Shiv Sena is consistent," Pawar said on Wednesday.

MPOST BUREAU

MPOST BUREAU

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