Theweekendleader

As Cong discusses Maha, Nirupam says prepare for early polls

New Delhi

11-November-2019

Even as the Congress top brass discusses backing a Shiv Sena led government in Maharashtra here on Monday, differences within the party over the issue have come to the fore with former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam asking party workers to get ready for early elections in the state.

"No matter who forms government and how? But the political instability in Maharashtra can not be ruled out now. Get ready for early elections. It may take place in 2020. Can we go to the elections with Shiv Sena as partner?" Nirupam tweeted.

Though the Congress has been divided over the issue of lending support to the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Nirupam has been quite vocal about it, warning the Congress that trusting Sena would prove fatal for the party.

His latest remark came while Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi was chairing a meeting with her party's Maharashtra in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge, senior party leader Ahmed Patel and others.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut announced that his party has decided to quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA in the Centre and would form a government in Maharashtra with the support of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

According to party sources, Raut is also likely to meet top Congress leaders in New Delhi later in the day to seek support for his party's government in the state. Top Congress sources said he may visit Sonia Gandhi, but no meeting has been sought as yet.

Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has also called a meeting of its core group to discuss the issue.

Before the meeting, former Civil Aviation Minister and senior NCP leader Praful Patel told reporters, "There are so many points that need to be discussed before coming to a conclusion.

Late on Sunday, Governor B.S. Koshyari invited the Shiv Sena, the second largest party in the Assembly, to show its willingness and ability to form the government, after the BJP informed it of its inability to do so citing lack of numbers.

In the recently concluded elections, the BJP emerged as the single biggest party in Maharashtra winning 105 out of the 288 seats, while its partner Shiv Sena managed to get 56 seats. The NCP and the Congress won 54 and 44 seats respectively. IANS