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Political drama in Maharashtra takes new turns

Political drama in Maharashtra takes new turns
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Highlights

With Maharashtra coming under President's Rule from Tuesday, the adage 'politics makes strange bedfellows' has literally become a reality in the...

With Maharashtra coming under President's Rule from Tuesday, the adage 'politics makes strange bedfellows' has literally become a reality in the West-Central State of India. Major political parties have been keeping their noses to the grindstone in order to float an alternative alliance to form the government ever since the three-decade-old Shiv Sena-BJP bonhomie came to an end in their wily war for power share.

A flurry of activities has been keeping the political spectrum in a boiling cauldron with leaders of major political parties trying to fish in troubled waters and lobbying to form the government. In a significant move, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met Maharashtra Congress leaders in Mumbai on Wednesday and initiated talks over formation of the government in the State.

He indicated that the talks were moving to the 'right direction' and a decision will be taken at an appropriate time. The leaders – Congress State chief Balasaheb Thorat, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakre – huddled in a Mumbai hotel and had talks for over an hour, though Thorat dismissed political hue to the meeting, dubbing it as a 'courtesy call'.

However, after coming out of the meeting, Uddhav Thackeray told waiting media persons outside that everything was going fine. Meanwhile, in an important development, Maharashtra Congress MLAs, who were camping at a Jaipur resort for the last five days, left for Mumbai on Wednesday.

It has been reported that during their five-day vacation in the luxury resort on Delhi-Jaipur highway, they were contacted by several leaders to discuss the political probability in State. It is understood that Congress leaders discussed with Thackeray the modalities of a 'common minimum programme' (CMP) for a possible alliance to form government in the State.

Earlier on Tuesday, senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and KC Venugopal had held discussions with Thackeray and Pawar in Mumbai and decided to complete discussions for the government formation in one or two days.

On the other side, another major political stakeholder, the National Congress Party (NCP) led by political behemoth Sharad Pawar has also formed a committee to discuss the modalities in case of forming an ally with the Shiv Sena and the Congress.

Pawar met senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Tuesday and expressed the need to have a common minimum programme (CMP) before working out the possibility of a tie-up with the Shiv Sena. All said and done, a strange political tie-up is in the offing in the politically volatile Maharashtra, with Sena-Congress-NCP trio likely to take over the mantle in the corridors of power.

The prevailing situation in the State presents a clear picture of greed for power with a party like Shiv Sena which has even a harder Hindu line than BJP breaking ties with the latter and trying to have alliance with the Congress.

Though AICC general secretary Avinash Pande said the Congress would play its role in forming the government in Maharashtra, maintaining its core principles and values, one has to wait and watch what are the 'core principles and values' of the grand old party of India. While the situation is so in Maharashtra, voices of dissents have been heard from BJP allies in States like Bihar and Punjab. One is sure to witness more dramas in the days to come!

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