Congress MLAs to knock on Sonia's door with Sena plea

Congress President Sonia Gandhi (PTI Photo)

With the Shiv Sena-BJP deadlock unresolved, a group of Congress MLAs from Maharashtra are planning to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi to make a case for backing a Shiv Sena-led alternative dispensation in the state.

Sonia has remained steadfast in her opposition to having any truck with the Shiv Sena, despite calls by a section of the party leadership to work towards finding a way out of the stalemate over government formation in the state.

A section of the newly elected Congress MLAs, however, feel that the party should make every effort to deny the BJP the opportunity to form the government in Maharashtra and leave no stone unturned in doing so.

Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Assembly Vijay Waddetiwar claimed that 90% of the 44 Congress MLAs were of the opinion that the BJP should not form the next government in Maharashtra.

Congress leaders who had held a series of meetings in Mumbai were now planning to meet Sonia and other senior leaders at the centre to make a case for supporting the Shiv Sena from outside if it decides to snap ties with the BJP form the government.

However, till late Thursday evening Sonia had not granted any appointment to the Congress MLAs from Maharashtra and neither had the MLAs gathered in the national capital.

Sonia and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have maintained that they have got the mandate to sit in the Opposition and the onus of government formation lay on the BJP-Shiv Sena combine.

In the recently concluded Assembly election, BJP won 105 seats followed by Shiv Sena (56), NCP (54) and Congress (44). The majority mark in the 288-member House is 145.

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