Uddhav meets Pawar, seeks support to form government
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on Monday and is learnt to have requested the latter to extend his party's support in forming the government in Maharashtra, sources said.
Thackeray and Pawar held parleys at a suburban hotel ahead of the 7.30 pm deadline set by governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for the Sena to stake claim for government formation.
During their 45-minute meeting, the two leaders also discussed the 'common minimum programme', including the agrarian issue, that will guide the action of their government in case it is formed, sources said.
The NCP has not yet announced its decision on whether it will support the Shiv Sena and said that it will take a call based on the steps its ally Congress takes.
The Congress' top leaders will be meeting the Maharashtra party leaders in Delhi at 4 pm to decide the path the party will take amid the deadlock.
The Shiv Sena has 56 MLAs, while the NCP and Congress have 54 and 44 MLAs, respectively, in the 288-member House.
Any party or alliance that wants to form government in Maharashtra, will have to prove support of at least 145 MLAs on the floor of the House.
'The Shiv Sena chief requested Pawar Saheb for support. They also discussed the common minimum programme,' a source said.
Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut were also present at the hotel, he said.
From the NCP, senior leaders Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare were present, the source added.
The Congress and NCP are at present holding parleys at their respective party levels on whether to support a Shiv Sena-led government in the state.
Koshyari on Sunday invited the Shiv Sena, which has 56 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, to 'indicate the willingness and ability' of the party to stake claim after the BJP, the single largest party with 105 seats, decided against forming the government in the state.