Friday (November 1): NCP leader Ajit Pawar has said his party and Congress will sit in the opposition even as the ruling BJP and the Shiv Sena remain engaged in tussle over government formation in Maharashtra.
Pawar said the people of the state have asked his party to sit in the opposition, as reflected in the election results, and it will do the same.
He made the remarks after a meeting of key NCP leaders at party president Sharad Pawar’s residence late night on Thursday.
The former Maharashtra deputy chief minister’s comments came amid speculation about the Shiv Sena-NCP forming government in the state with outside support from the Congress.
The NCP won 54 seats, while its ally Congress clinched 44 seats.
On the other hand, the BJP and Shiv Sena won 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the October 21 election to the 288 -member Assembly.
Ajit Pawar, re-elected from the Baramati assembly seat in Pune district, refrained from commenting on the ongoing war of words between the saffron allies over sharing of power in the new government.
“The taunting going on between the BJP and the Shiv Sena is completely their concern. I have no reason to make any statement in that regard…
“The people have asked the Congress, NCP and allies to sit in the opposition. We will work accordingly,” Ajit Pawar told reporters wearing a smile on his face.
He said the BJP and the Shiv Sena may discuss government formation and come to a conclusion.
Ajit Pawar also said the NCP, the Congress and their other allies will meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in a day or two on the issue of damage caused to crops by untimely rains in various parts of the state.
The meeting of NCP leaders followed several newly- elected Congress MLAs too calling on Sharad Pawar in the evening on Thursday.
Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat and former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan also met Sharad Pawar on Thursday morning.
The trio later flew to Delhi to hold parleys on the issue with party president Sonia Gandhi.
“A possibility of the Shiv Sena and NCP forming government with outside support from the Congress is talked about. But it all depends on what stand the Shiv Sena and the Congress take,” sources said.
Meanwhile, Gandhi is learnt to be holding a meeting on Friday afternoon with Thorat, Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and two other Congress leaders Vijay Wadettiwar and Manikrao Thakare in Delhi.
The Shiv Sena is demanding the Chief Minister’s post on a rotational basis and 50:50 division of portfolios.
However, the BJP has insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for the next five years.