Attempts being made to get Cong MLAs to defect: Thorat

The Congress in Maharashtra on Friday alleged that attempts were being made to put pressure on party legislators to switch sides.

State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said his party has not taken any decision to support a Shiv Sena-led government in the state, where there is an impasse over formation of the next dispensation.

Talking to reporters, he said, "To avoid harassment, some MLAs have gone out (of Mumbai). Legislators have told us that they are being given proposals to defect from the party."

He said the Congress, which won 44 seats in the October 21 assembly polls, has not taken any decision to support a Shiv Sena-led Government.

"The mandate is for the BJP-Shiv Sena to form the government and they should do it," the former minister added.

Another Congress leader, Manikrao Thakre, said some legislators are of the view that the party should take steps to prevent the installation of a BJP-led government in the state.

"But, the final decision will be taken by the party high command in Delhi and that will be binding on all legislators," the former president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) said.

Thakre said the mandate given in the last month's polls was for the BJP and the Sena to form a government, but they are delaying this process.

"Our MLAs are airing their views, but the final decision will be done by the Delhi leadership," he said, adding all party legislators are together to prevent attempts to lure them away.

Earlier in the day, Congress leaders met to discuss the prevailing political situation in the state.

Some party MLAs were also present at the meeting which took place at the residence of Leader of Opposition in the outgoing assembly Vijay Wadettiwar.

The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 Assembly polls winning 105 seats, and its ally Shiv Sena, with 56 seats, have not staked claim to form a government together or separately till now.

The two parties are bickering over sharing chief ministerial post since October 24, when the poll results were out.

The NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively, in the election to the 288-member assembly where the majority mark is 145. 

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