The chessboard of Maharashtra politics cannot be messier. The tide seems to be turning faster than Uddhav Thackeray would have anticipated in Shiv Sena's efforts to have its Chief Minister on the chair. Sources within Shiv Sena indicate that the party is facing cracks on its previous consensus of a hardball game in Maharashtra by sticking to its demand of CM with ex-ally BJP. As the deadlock prolongs for nearly a month since results of the Assembly polls were out, exhaustion has made elected MLAs get lighter.
Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to meet all Shiv Sena MLAs on Friday. He will address the meeting which is expected to deliberate on the future course of action in the backdrop of the three main non-BJP parties making efforts to form government in Maharashtra, which is currently under President's rule. Sources in Sena say there is a rising chorus among MLAs wanting to go with BJP while some are open for an alternative Sena-Congress-NCP alliance. Uddhav hence will possibly find himself leading a meeting with a split opinion.
Sharad Pawar keeps Sena guessing
The pressure seems to be adding on the Sena chief after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar at a press conference on Monday kept everyone guessing on whether NCP-Congress will parley with Sena. The bucking on the question is also seen from Congress who's interim president Sonia Gandhi met Pawar on the same day. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has been repeatedly claiming Sena and the UPA allies coming together for the "benefit of Maharashtra''. Pawar's latest comments put a question on that rhetoric.
Maha tussle for power
Since none of the major political parties could garner enough numbers for government formation, President's Rule was imposed in Maharashtra on November 12. Hectic parlays have been going on in the NCP, Shiv Sena, and Congress camps to forge a post-poll alliance in the state. Sources also indicated that a formula has been worked out whereby the Sena would get the CM’s post for 5 years. However, all three parties would have ministers proportionate to their strength in the Maharashtra assembly. As per the sources, the Sena, NCP, and Congress could get 16, 14 and 12 ministries respectively.