Tribune News Service
Mumbai, November 11
The Shiv Sena suffered a setback this evening with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari refusing to give it additional time to garner support from other parties in forming the new government in Maharashtra.
After meeting the Governor at Raj Bhavan, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray told reporters late this evening that his party’s claim to form the next government in Maharashtra still stands. “We have started talks with two parties which have expressed their in-principle support to the Shiv Sena. We sought more time from the Governor as the two parties needed time to complete procedures, but he refused to grant it,” said Thackeray.
The young Shiv Sena MLA said Governor Koshiyari “did not deny the claim to form the government, but the (additional) time was denied.”
Without naming them, Thackeray said the Shiv Sena was talking to both parties. With Sena unable to provide letters of support from other parties to the Governor till the 7.30 pm deadline set by Raj Bhavan, Koshiyari then sought a meeting with NCP leaders. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Our delegation has been invited by the Governor and a letter of invite to stake claim by 8.30 pm tomorrow has been given to us. We shall discuss with Congress ways to form the next government.”
According to Shiv Sena sources, neither the Congress nor NCP had given letters of support to the Shiv Sena. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had told the Sena leaders to wait till the Congress decided on joining the non-BJP alliance in Maharashtra. After a meeting of the party’s MLAs this afternoon, the NCP decided to wait for the Congress to make its move, said Malik.
Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray met at a hotel in suburban Mumbai where they discussed their moves even as the Congress leaders were locked in confabulations in New Delhi about supporting the Shiv Sena. Sources say Thackeray called up Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who passed on the call to party chief Sonia Gandhi. After the five-minute conversation, Thackeray was told to wait for the Congress to take a decision.
Sena minister quits
Arvind Sawant, lone Shiv Sena member in the Union Cabinet, quit as Heavy Industries Minister on Monday, accusing the BJP of reneging on its promise for equal division of seats and power. “I have sent my resignation to the PM,” Sawant said in Delhi.
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