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Maharashtra political churn: Shiv Sena says to work with Congress-NCP on govt

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said the Congress, the NCP and his party will work out a formula for formation of the government in Maharashtra facing political uncertainty for nearly three weeks now.
Attacking the BJP over its claim that the Sena was in touch with the Congress-NCP since the October 24 poll results, Thackeray said he had allied with the chief NDA constituent in its "dark times".
"I officially spoke to the Congress-NCP only yesterday (November 11), seeking support for government formation. We will work out a formula for the same," he told reporters after meeting Sena's MLA-elects at a suburban resort.
He said the Sena needs clarity on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) just like the Congress and the NCP if a government is to be formed with their support.
"We have got six months. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will sit together and work out a CMP. The Sena and the Congress-NCP have different views on several issues…they will work out and stake claim for government formation," Thackeray said.
The Sena president took a dig at Governor B S Koshyari over denial of more time to drum up support for government formation in the state, where President's rule was imposed on Tuesday evening.
The Sena had failed to produce the required letters of support of the NCP and the Congress when it met the Governor on Monday night to stake a claim to form government.
"The Maharashtra Governor had given us a letter (asking the Sena to show willingness to form government) even before the deadline allotted to the BJP got over. We then asked the Governor for additional time, which he denied.
"Now it seems, the Governor has given us ample time of six months to decide on government formation," Thackeray said sarcastically.
"We had asked for 48 hrs but the Governor gave us six months," he said.
Responding to question, he said, "After the Governor's letter to me, I asked the Congress-NCP whether they can come forward for government formation in Maharashtra. I think they met today and held a meeting. Every party has some points to discuss, we will meet and find a way out."
He hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying, "The fact that I reached out to the Congress-NCP only yesterday proves the BJP's allegation, that I was in touch with them since the day of the election results, wrong."
Reaffirming the Sana's commitment to Hindutva, he pointed out that parties with different ideologies have forged an alliance with the BJP.
"I have sought information on how the BJP forged alliances with non-ideological partners like Mehbooba Mufti (PDP-J&K), Nitish Kumar (JDU-Bihar), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP- Andhra Pradesh) and Ramvilas Paswan (LJP-Bihar).
"It will be helpful for me to understand how to go ahead with the Congress and NCP," the Sena leader said.
Asked whether he has been receiving any offers from the BJP, Thackeray said, "If everyday they are making a different offer, then there is no point in taking it seriously.
"I was surprised to find out that we were given only 24 hours, while the BJP had 48 hours to stake claim for government formation."
Asked whether he has officially broken the alliance with the BJP, Thackeray said, "If it is broken, it is by them and not me. They lied and tried to prove me a liar. It made me furious."
"I am not lured by the Congress-NCP. But the state BJP president has wished me good luck to go ahead with both parties and form government. I think I should respect it," he said.
While opting out of the government formation race last weekend, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil had said, "If the Shiv Sena wants to insult the mandate given by the people and form a government with the Congress and NCP, then our best wishes to them."
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