MUMBAI: Decision on government formation in Maharashtra is likely to be made in Delhi, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders have hinted.
The core committee of the NCP huddled at party president Sharad Pawar's Modi Baug residence in Pune on Sunday evening.
While state party president Jayant Patil had said, before the meeting, that the committee might discuss how to collectively form a government in Maharashtra with Congress and Shiv Sena, other sources said that the discussions which were to take place on Maharashtra level are over and that the decision is now likely to be made in Delhi.
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Mumbai NCP Chief Nawab Malik had earlier said that no meeting between NCP Chief Pawar and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi is scheduled. He also said that Pawar is likely to hold meetings with other Congress leaders in Delhi over next couple of days. The direction of government formation will depend upon this meeting, party sources said today.
Meanwhile, state NCP Chief Patil said that while the party is contemplating on inducting back some of the leaders who had left the party earlier, it will be done strictly on merit.
“We will not be doing 'Mega Bharti'. We will only be doing ‘Bharti’ (recruitment) based on merit. Several MLAs are in touch with us. However, the decision on inducting them into the party will be taken keeping in mind those who loyally stood by the party all along,” the Patil said.
He also said that youngsters have also worked hard to take the party forward, and therefore, the NCP will ensure that they are not neglected.
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“We will also reach out to all the other parties who have helped us in previous elections as well and a final decision will only be taken after discussions with Shiv Sena and other small parties,” he added.
The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, put up a show of strength as thousands of party workers thronged Shivaji Park at Dadar to pay respects to Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray on his seventh death anniversary.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who along with other BJP leaders reached the memorial site to pay respects, was subjected to sloganeering by a section of Shiv Sena workers. They were seen shouting in Marathi Fadnavis’ assembly poll campaign slogan: ‘I will be back (as CM)’ along with the Sena’s traditional ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai’ war cry.
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There were no Shiv Sena leaders, except Uddhav Thackeray’s PA Milind Narvekar, when Fadnavis arrived at Shivaji Park to pay tribute to the founder of the Maharashtrian party.
Earlier in the day, Fadnavis had tweeted a video containing some of the late Sena patriarch’s rousing speeches on Hindutva and Self Respect and had added his voice-over as a tribute. Shiv Sena retorted to the message. Party MP Sanjay Raut said, “We don’t need anyone to teach us.”
“All Shiv Sena workers are bound by the pledge to fulfil Balasaheb’s dream of having a Shiv Sena CM. It shall be fulfilled soon,” Raut added.
NCP leader Pawar, while paying respects to his close friend and Shiv Sena founder, said, “He was embodiment of Marathi regional pride. Politics with a base of social service, eloquence, straight forward outlook won him deep respects of his followers.”
Several other leaders from the NCP, the Congress and the BJP too paid their respects to the departed leader.