Maharashtra elections are finally over, and it’s sure that if Shiv Sena wants a government in the state then they need Congress. The Shiv Sena is planning to form a government in Maharashtra with the support of the NCP and the Congress. In this coalition, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is going to play an important role.
Sharad Pawar, who is the NCP Chief is also the mediator between the Congress and Shiv Sena. In a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, he proposed that if the party snaps ties with BJP, then there is a possibility of them aligning.
In the newly elected Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP has 105 seats, Congress has 44 seats, Shiv Sena has 56 seats and the NCP has 54 seats. The Shiv Sena has claimed support of 170 MLAs. Also, they are confident about getting the support of nine other MLAs which will make it to 65.
The BJP coalition with Shiv Sena has been collapsed and the BJP has withdrawn from government formation exercise. Now the Shiv Sena is left with only one option that is, a post-poll alliance of the party with the NCP and the Congress.
But now it seems like the NCP and the Congress party is giving a thought to this an waiting for an alternate option. The NCP is weighing its options and more importantly, Congress is extremely hesitant.
The NCP-Congress fought the Maharashtra election against Shiv Sena. However, in the view of Shiv Sena-BJP wrangling, some of the MLAs of the two parties are believed to have conveyed their “willingness” to ally with Uddhav Thackeray’s party.
But the leaderships – Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi of the two parties have to find a new logic for the sudden change of stance for supporting the party.
Views On The Coalition
Sanjay Nirupam, a Congress heavyweight in Maharashtra and former Mumbai Unit chief expressed his views on this coalition. Nirupam said,
“No matter who forms govt and how? But the political instability in Maharashtra cannot be ruled out now. Get ready for early elections. It may take place in 2020. Can we go to the elections with Shiv Sena as a partner?”
Shiv Sena chief also held a meeting of all the MLAs of his party. The meeting was kept in order to get a sense of their views about joining hands with the NCP-Congress alliance. Some of the MLAs were uncomfortable with the idea of joining hands with the Congress. But towards the end, the meeting ended with a consensus that Uddhav Thackeray should take a final call on this decision.
Sanjay Raut, Uddhav’s trusted aide also talked about the glimpse of the prevailing sense of difficulties in the party over the possible alliance with the Congress. The party has opposed this decision of alliance with the Congress for the past three decades.
“The BJP shouldn’t blame Shiv Sena. They are responsible for the present state of affairs in Maharashtra. The BJP is ready to sit in Opposition. It is their arrogance. They are ready to sit in opposition but not ready to adhere to the 50-50 formula. This is disrespect to the mandate.”
Sonia Gandhi Plays An Important Role
The party is desperate to have their own Chief Minister in Maharashtra. But the key to government formation lies with Sonia Gandhi. It is cleared from Sharad Pawar’s statement that the decision to join hands with the Shiv Sena will be jointly taken by the NCP and Congress.
Those Congress party MLAs who are willing to support this alliance are waiting for a green signal from Delhi. If Sonia Gandhi accepts the proposal, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance will have 154 MLA. They will cross the majority mark easily.
Hence the whole decision is based on a green signal from Sonia Gandhi. If Shiv Sena wants a leader of their own, then this coalition is very important for them.