As Cong-NCP dilly dally, Uddhav open to talks with BJP

MUMBAI: As the Congress and the NCP dilly dally about backing a government led by the Shiv Sena, the regional party has not entirely closed its doors to the BJP.

As Cong-NCP dilly dally, Uddhav open to talks with BJP

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray addresses a press conference as his son and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray looks on, in Mumbai on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. PTI

amansharma@tribunemail.com

Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service
Mumbai, November 12

As the Congress and the NCP dilly dally about backing a government led by the Shiv Sena, the regional party has not entirely closed its doors to the BJP.

Addressing the party’s MLAs who are holed up at a resort in Mumbai’s Madh island, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said his party has been approached by the BJP to restart talks. 

Thackeray, however, refused to compromise on his demand for the Chief Minister from the Shiv Sena. “If we get what has been promised to us we have no problems forming the government with the BJP,” a Shiv Sena source quoted Thackeray as telling the party’s MLAs.

According to sources, some Shiv Sena MLAs had questioned Thackeray on holding talks with the Congress and NCP since the former was in two minds about backing the regional outfit.

Thackeray, however, said the Shiv Sena was still holding talks with the Congress and the NCP.

“We had asked the governor for 48 hours, but he was kind enough to give us six months,” Thackeray said later in the evening. He added that the Shiv Sena was working out a Common Minimum Programme with the Congress and the NCP. 

He remarked that the BJP had tied up with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir after the imposition of President’s Rule in that state despite the two parties sharing opposite ideologies. 

Thackeray’s attempts to keep the morale of his legislators high come at a time when the Congress and the NCP were still divided over being part of a government led by the Shiv Sena.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai this evening, leaders of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party said they needed more time to work out the modalities of forming the government in Maharashtra.

“We will first discuss the matter with our ally NCP and then hold discussions with the Shiv Sena,” Congress leader Ahmed Patel said. NCP leader Praful Patel added that further discussions are in progress. “The Shiv Sena approached us on 11/11/19. We have to touch base on critical issues before taking a decision,” Patel said. 

Both the Congress and NCP leaders criticised the central government’s decision to impose President’s Rule in Maharashtra. “The way President’s Rule was recommended, I condemn it. This government has violated the Supreme Court guidelines on President’s rule on several occasions in the last five years,” Congress leader Ahmed Patel said. 

He added that the Congress will not form an alliance in haste and would take a decision after detailed discussions. 

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Narayan Rane who is presently with the BJP, said the national party was working to form the government in Maharashtra. He, however, did not give any details. 

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