Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence has become a hotbed of political activity, with leaders of various parties making a beeline for it. RPI leader Ramdas Athawale and Sena leader Sanjay Raut were among those who met Pawar.
While what transpired in the meeting with Raut is unclear, Athawale, who is an alliance partner of the BJP, said that he met Pawar to seek his advice on how to resolve the current political crisis in the state.
Athawale said that despite their political differences, he shares a close relationship with Pawar for many years.
“I came to take Pawar’s advice to resolve the current political problems. Pawar’s opinion is that the Shiv Sena and the BJP should form the government. Pawar asked me to advise the two parties to form the government,” Athawale said.
Pawar said he did not know why governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari wasn’t inviting the BJP, which had emerged as the single largest party, to stake claim to form the government. Following the meeting with Athawale, the NCP chief suggested that the BJP and Sena, via Athawale, respect the mandate given to them by the people.
Pawar said, “Such a situation should not prevail in a state like Maharashtra. He (Athawale) asked for advice. We have consensus that the people have given the BJP and Sena a clear-cut mandate.” For how long can the President or governor wait, he asked. The BJP and Sena will have to take some decision soon, he said.
Late Thursday evening, a delegation of Congress leaders including Sushil Kumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan headed by state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, too, met Pawar. In the Assembly elections, the BJP won 105 seats, the Sena 56, the NCP 54, and the Congress 44 in the 288-member House....