Congress leader Milind Deora on Sunday said that Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari should invite his party and its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party to form government in Maharashtra as the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena have refused to do so. A day earlier, Koshyari had asked the BJP to indicate its willingness and ability to form government in the state.

However, Deora’s rival and Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said it was impossible for the Congress and the NCP to form government in the current political scenario. “For that we need Shiv Sena,” he tweeted. “And we must not think of sharing power with Shiv Sena under any circumstances. That will be a disastrous move for the party.”

The Nationalist Congress Party won 54 seats and the Congress got 44 in the Assembly elections that were held on October 21. The BJP and Shiv Sena together obtained the numbers that could help them form a government together again. The BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 105 seats, and the Shiv Sena secured 56 seats in the 288-member Assembly. But for over two weeks, the BJP refused to entertain the Shiv Sena’s persistent demand for the chief minister’s post for half the tenure and a 50:50 division of Cabinet portfolios.

After the governor’s invite, the BJP now has the option to prove they have the numbers or decline the invite. It can also request time to show the support of 145 MLAs either in writing or on the floor of the house.

BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the party will meet at 4 pm on Sunday and take a decision on the governor’s invitation, ANI reported. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also met the party MLAs at hotel Retreat in Mumbai.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge met the party’s newly elected MLAs in Jaipur to discuss the political situation, PTI reported. “Kharge will then convey the sentiments of the legislators to the party leadership,” party leader Manikrao Thakare told PTI.

The MLAs, including senior leaders like Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat, were staying at a resort amid fears of poaching.

NCP talks about ‘alternative government’

Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik said that his party and the Congress will try to form an “alternative government” if BJP and Sena do not. “We have called a meeting of all our MLAs on November 12 to discuss the political situation in the state,” he told ANI.

On Saturday, Malik said his party will vote against the BJP on the floor of the house. “The governor has initiated the process late,” he had added. “He should have done it earlier.”

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said his party did not consider the Congress an enemy and accused caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of playing “politics of fear”.

In a column in party mouthpiece Saamana, Raut said Nationalist Congress party President Sharad Pawar will play an important role in the government formation. “Fadnavis’s biggest failure is that Sena is not ready to talk with him,” he wrote. “This means that Uddhav Thackeray will decide who will become the next chief minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar will play an important role in this process.”

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