Uddhav Thackeray, BJP leaders visit ailing Sena Sanjay Raut

Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also met Raut at the hospital in the morning.

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday met party leader Sanjay Raut, who underwent angioplasty at Lilavati Hospital here, and later said the Rajya Sabha member was recoverig fast but refused to comment on the political crisis in Maharashtra.

BJP leaders Harshvardhan Patil and Ashish Shelar also met 57-year-old Raut at the hospital here following which the latter said it was a courtesy visit with "no political angle".

The visit came in the backdrop of the stalemate over government formation continuing in the state even 19 days after the Assembly poll results were declared. Thackeray met Raut along with Patil.

Later, talking to reporters, Thackeray said, "Things are taking shape, I will speak about it at the right time. I cannot comment on politics right now." Asked about Raut's health, he said, "He is recuperating fast. He has also resumed work as the executive editor of (Sena mouthpiece) 'Saamana'." Former Mumbai BJP chief Shelar also met the Sena MP and later said, "Doctors have advised Raut to speak less. I met him out of courtesy. It is Maharashtra's culture, we meet unwell people irrespective of political differences." "There was no political angle to this meet. A senior BJP office-bearer is also admitted in the same hospital, I also met him," he added.

Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also met Raut at the hospital in the morning. Raut, who led the Sena's charge to seek equal share in power with the BJP after the Assembly poll results in Maharashtra, complained of chest pain on Monday following which he underwent angioplasty, a procedure to restore blood flow through the artery.

The ailing Sena leader in the morning took to Twitter to quote lines of legendary poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan to reaffirm his party's resolve to succeed and not give up. The Shiv Sena on Monday suffered a setback in its efforts to cobble up a non-BJP government in the state with the Congress at the last moment announcing its decision to hold more talks with ally NCP on supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

While Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray said two parties (Congress and NCP) have agreed "in-principle" to support the Sena-led government, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari refused additional time sought by his party to muster numbers.

Later, the NCP, which is the third largest party in the state, got an invite from the governor, asking it to express "willingness and ability to form government". With 54 MLAs, the NCP is the third largest party after the BJP (105) and the Shiv Sena (56) in the 288-member House, where the halfway mark in 145. The Congress has 44 MLAs.

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