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No Decision On Maharashtra Invite At BJP Meet, Sena Keeps MLAs At Resort

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Mumbai: 

The leaders of the Maharashtra BJP — who met at the house of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis — have failed to come to a conclusion regarding the Governor’s invite for government formation. Another meeting is expected to be held this evening. The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, kept a firm grip on its MLAs, who are at a resort near Mumbai.

After two weeks of tussle with Shiv Sena over a 50: 50 division of power, the BJP — the single largest party — was invited to form government by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

The invite has triggered hectic activity across the board. While the BJP scheduled meetings, the Sena moved its lawmakers out of the BJP’s reach. So did the Congress, amid concern that its MLAs might be poached on by the BJP or the Sena.

The Sena MLAs are at Madh, a resort two hours away from Mumbai. The Congress has moved their legislators out of the state altogether — all 41 of them are in Rajasthan capital Jaipur.

“We believe that the BJP will try all means to horsetrade MLAs, but I am confident that the Congress MLAs cannot be traded,” said Sena leader Sanjay Raut, appearing undeterred by the negative signals regarding a possible alliance from the Congress camp.

The Sena — adamant about its demand for a 50: 50 power share and furious with the lack of BJP response — has been sending feelers to the Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party and talking of an alternative political alignment.  But last week, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi ruled it out after a meeting with Sharad Pawar, sources have said.

Today, party chief Uddhav Thackeray met its MLAs at the resort, where they stayed overnight. Mr Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray had spent the night there too.

“I give my best wishes to the BJP to form their government in the state, as they claim to have majority and the numbers to have their own Chief Minister,” added Sanjay Raut.

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