Mumbai: In a twist to the uncertain future of government formation in Maharashtra, the Congress on Friday said it was open to an offer from the Shiv Sena, which fought the Assembly elections in alliance with the ruling BJP.
In a rare gesture, Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said that if the Sena showed the courage to break up with the BJP, he was open to the possibility of joining hands with Uddhav Thackeray’s outfit.
“I am open to it. If the Sena sends us a proposal, I will discuss it with our party leadership in Delhi," Thorat told CNN-News18. Sources in the Congress said the party would even be willing to accept the Sena’s candidate for the chief minister’s post.
Thorat refused to answer questions on the ally NCP's stand. Interestingly, Thorat will soon meet Sharad Pawar at Baramati to discuss the future strategy.
“The number game in the state is such that if all the parties decide to keep the BJP out of power, they can form the government. Provided, everyone comes together," a Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.
Currently, 10 Independent candidates are in touch with the Congress. Sources within the Sena said that nine rebel winners are in contact with them.
The Congress won 44 seats in the elections, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) 54, and the Sena 56. The BJP leads the pack with 105. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has claimed that 15 rebel MLAs are in touch with the saffron party.