Mumbai: After the Shiv Sena’s efforts to cobble-up a non-BJP alliance in Maharashtra suffered an inexplicable setback on Monday, Sharad Pawar’s NCP has indicated that it may go slow on finalising the coalition and is not worried about the deadline set by the Governor to stake claim to power.
Sources told News18 that no discussions have yet taken place on the modalities of the alliance with the Congress still looking reluctant to join hands with the Shiv Sena.
A series of meetings have been planned between the NCP and the Congress in Mumbai for Tuesday to come to a consensus. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also spoke to Pawar over the phone. Both parties have asserted that the decision on joining hands with the Sena will be taken jointly.
“We want all three parties on board. We don't want the Congress to support from outside. We can't take the risk of Op Lotus like in Karnataka or in Goa,” a senior NCP leader, who did not wish to be named, said.
The party leader said that if the three parties do join hands, a common minimum programme would have to be stitched and this was not the work of one day.
“Rough edges need to be smoothened. (There are) Several issues on which discussion (is) important,” the leader told News18, adding that the process may take many days despite the President’s rule looming.
While some in the Congress camp said that the delay could be because the party wants a CM from the NCP, the NCP dismissed that and said that if a three-way alliance is formed, the CM would be from the Shiv Sena.
The NCP was on Monday evening invited by the Governor to form a government after the BJP and Shiv Sena failed to do so. The party has time till 8.30 pm to stake a claim to power. But with no party appearing to be in a position to form the government, Maharashtra is staring at President's rule.
But Sharad Pawar’s party asserted that it is not worried about Tuesday’s deadline as even if President's rule is imposed, if the three parties approach the Governor with numbers, he would have to take cognisance of the coalition. “President’s rule is a stop-gap arrangement, not permanent, the leader said.