JAIPUR: Amid talk of an alliance between the Congress and the Shiv Sena to stake claim for power in Maharashtra, the grand old party on Sunday decided not to ally with the rightwing outfit. However, it resolved to continue its alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), who the Sena is also believed to courting for a shot at government formation.
The decision not to go into an alliance with the Sena, to whom it doesn’t see eye-to-eye in matters of national importance, was taken at the Congress’s legislative party meeting on Sunday. The meeting, in Jaipur, featured a host of top party functionaries.
Rajasthan has been thrust into the protracted power game in Maharashtra, with the Congress herding 40 of its newly-elected MLAs to a private resort near Jaipur for fear of horse trading.
The MLAs camping in the plush Buena Vista resort, on the Delhi highway, 25 km from Jaipur, went into a huddle on Sunday to flesh out their strategy going forward. At the meeting, which is believed to have lasted one-and-a-half hours, the legislators decided to leave it to Sonia to take the final call on the issue of allying with the Sena.
Mallikarjun Kharge, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Maharashtra, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan reached the Pink City along with the 40 MLAs on Sunday. The remaining 4 legislators were also supposed to gang up with them later in the day.
Congress MLA Nana Patole also raised questions on the working of Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari after coming out of the strategy meeting. On Saturday, Koshiyari invited the BJP to form the government in Maharashtra.
Congress leader Vijay Vadettivar said, “The high command will decide on our strategy going forward. We’re in Jaipur to enjoy the pleasant weather after the electoral battle.”
Uddhav’s men are in a mood to experiment
The young MLAs in the Shiva Sena are believed to be in a mood to experiment by stitching an unlikely alliance with the Congress. It is believed that the party’s brains trust is largely made up of young guns, who are determined to take the ongoing feud with the BJP to the breaking point. Neither of them seem open to a compromise formula for government formation