Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Home Minister and BJP cheif Amit Shah after his meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in Parliament on Wednesday. Shah, along with Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman, was also present in the meeting, according to sources. The back-to-back discussions sparked a flurry of speculations over the political implications of these meeting as the impasse over government formation in Maharashtra continued.
However, Pawar reiterated that his meeting was focussed on the issues being faced by farmers in Maharashtra. He apprised the prime minister of the farmers' distress in his home state. However, the meeting was always expected to generate political buzz as it came amid uncertainty over the government formation in the Maharashtra.
The NCP are currently in conversation with Congress and Shiv Sena over a possible alliance to form the new government. However, there are reports that BJP has also made advances to lure NCP. With the support of the NCP, the BJP will have a comfortable majority in the 288-member Assembly.
According to media reports, the BJP has reportedly offered the NCP positions in the Union cabinet and the post of president for Sharad Pawar in 2022, when the tenure of President Ram Nath Kovind ends. On Tuesday, Shiv Sena leaders told NDTV that the Pawar was being pursued by the BJP and the post of president of India "was on the table".
The duo is meeting two days after the prime minister praised the NCP lawmakers in Parliament over their decision against entering the Well during the proceedings. NCP and Congress leaders will meet in the evening to discuss how to partner with the Shiv Sena, a long-term BJP ally that recently ended its alliance with the ruling party over a power tussle in Maharashtra.
In the October 21 Maharashtra polls, the BJP-Sena saffron alliance secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress and the NCP won 44 and 54 seats respectively. However, BJP and Shiv Sena later fell out over issues like the chief minister's post and power-sharing arrangement.