Parties worried over Operation Lotus in Maharashtra

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi. (Left to Right)

In a significant statement, Rajya Sabha member Narayan Rane, who happens to be Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s bete noire, hinted that the BJP would make attempts to form its government in Maharashtra.

“When we go to the Governor, we would go with a list of 145 (MLAs)... Without that it does not make sense... Let me not share the details... We have started the work.... Sabko bola kaam pe lag jao (Have asked others to start the work) ,” he said in a cryptic response to reporters.

Asked whether legislators from the NCP, Congress and Sena are in touch with him, he said: “I can tell you, I will make efforts to form the government and I will not go to the governor empty-handed.”

Follow live updates of Maharashtra government formation

Meanwhile, the Congress, the NCP, and the Shiv Sena that are hatching plans to keep the BJP out of power are worried about keeping their MLAs safe. “This is a peculiar situation in Maharashtra. For the Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena, the first priority is to keep their respective MLAs intact,” sources said.

They said that now there are chances of horse-trading and that the arithmetic in the Assembly, that has been kept in suspended animation, is not an easy one.

“For the BJP to reach the magic figure is difficult. Even while the President’s rule is underway and in case the Congress, NCP, Sena establish a government, keeping the flock together would be a difficult task,” sources said.

Also read — Prez Rule in Maha, Assembly in suspended animation

Earlier, former leader of Opposition and senior Congressman Vijay Wadettiwar had alleged that Congress MLAs were offered between Rs 25 to 50 crores.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said that the allegations show the frustrations of the Congress.

Also read — Maha episode again turns spotlight on Guv’s role

“Given what happened in Karnataka and Goa in the recent past, there are chances of MLAs getting lured from BJP,” the sources said, adding that the three parties in government formation process would have to adopt the best “survival tactics” to thwart attempts to break them.

Meanwhile, the BJP has convened a meeting of all MLAs and MLCs at its Dadar office on Thursday.

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