Sharad Pawar Rules Out Tie-Up With Shiv Sena; Saffron Partners In A Huddle

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar on Wednesday reiterated his stand that the BJP and Shiv Sena should come together to form the government in Maharashtra and that the people’s mandate wants his party to play the role of opposition.

With the political impasse in Maharashtra entering its 13th day today and just two days to the deadline for government formation, Pawar said, “I don’t have anything to say yet. BJP and Shiv Sena have got the mandate of people, so they should form the government as soon as possible. Our mandate is to play the role of Opposition”.

He also brushed aside speculation that the Shiv Sena could walk out of the NDA and form the government with help from the NCP and the Congress.

Where is the question of a Shiv Sena-NCP government? They (BJP-Shiv Sena) are together for the last 25 years; today or tomorrow they will come together again,” Sharad Pawar said, adding that there is no other option to avoid President’s rule other than the BJP and Sena coming together.

On Raut’s claim that the Sena has the support of 170 members, 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.

His remarks came after Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut met him for the second time on Wednesday after the Assembly polls, fuelling speculations of the NCP teaming up with the rival Sena.

Coincidentally — or otherwise — BJP and Shiv Sena met for the first time on Wednesday, with just two days to the deadline for government formation in Maharashtra.

The two should act fast and form the government together instead of plunging the state into a constitutional crisis, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar told reporters, ruling out any pact with the Sena.

Six Shiv Sena ministers attended a meeting called by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the farm crisis. Sources say a formula for government formation was discussed in the meeting.

This is the first time the BJP and the Sena came face to face since the results of the Maharashtra election on October 24. Sena ministers present at the meeting included Eknath Shinde and Ramdas Kadam.

You cannot separate water, no matter how much you try to. Shiv Sena and BJP are together… We should wait for the news, the good news can come anytime,” BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said after the meeting.

Later, BJP ministers met at the Chief Minister’s home to discuss how to divide portfolios with the Sena, which has demanded an equal share in power including a turn at the Chief Minister’s post by rotation.

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