New Delhi: A group of Congress leaders arrived at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar's residence on Wednesday, amid reports that the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena were close to sealing a deal for government formation in Maharashtra.
Ahead of the crucial meet, NCP’s Nawab Malik said the only way to form the government was by shaking hands with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, news 18 reported.
“Today at 5 pm there will be a meeting between NCP and Congress at Sharad Pawar's Delhi residence... We will be discussing government formation in Maharashtra,” he said.
Malik told ANI: "There is a presidential rule in Maharashtra. People and farmers are suffering. The administration has been collapsed. There should be an alternative government. There is a meeting between the two parties to find a solution".
Senior leaders, including Ahmed Patel, KC Venugopal, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, Supriya Sule are among others who are attending the meet.
Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi has not shown enthusiasm for forging an alliance with the ideologically contradicting party Shiv Sena.
Experts believe that stitching an alliance with a pro-Hindutva and traditionally anti-South Indian party would damage the image of Congress at the pan-Indian level.
Shiv Sena fell out with all-weather ally BJP, as they failed to agree to a power-sharing deal to form a government in the state.
On October 24, the declared result of Maharashtra Assembly polls announced BJP as the single-largest party, with 105 seats. In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, while Sena secured 56, Congress and NCP won 44 and 54 seats respectively.
Last week, President's rule was imposed on the recommendation of the Governor BS Koshiyari after not a single party was able to prove numbers for government formation.