Nitin Gadkari rushes to meet RSS chief as Maharashtra deadline draws closer

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena had fought the state polls in an alliance but have failed to reach a common ground over sharing the chief minister’s post and distribution of portfolios.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari rushed to Nagpur to meet Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday as the November 9 deadline for government formation in Maharashtra draws closer.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena had fought the state polls in an alliance but have failed to reach a common ground over sharing the chief minister’s post and distribution of portfolios.

The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, the Shiv Sena got 56.

Gadkari met senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday amid speculations over the changing political scenario in the state. Patel, though, said the meeting with was a meeting over “farmer issues”

BJP is supposed to meet governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday to inform him about efforts to form a government in the state. BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar are to meet the governor at Raj Bhavan.

Initially, the meet was scheduled to take place in the morning but BJP has now postponed it to the evening.

Sena leader Kishore Tiwari had written a letter to RSS chief Bhagwat on Monday to deputise Gadkari to resolve the stalemate in Maharashtra.

Tiwari, in his letter, asked Bhagwat to intervene and said people were worried about the RSS’ “silence” on the issue.

Later, Tiwari said Gadkari will be able to resolve the deadlock in “two hours”.

Gadkari enjoys a good rapport with Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray and was a minister ing the Sena-BJP government from 1995 to 1999.

Sena, which has been targeting BJP over the delay in government formation, fired another salvo on Thursday and accused its ally of “trying to poach” its MLAs.

In an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, Sena alleged that BJP was trying to use “money power” to resolve the Maharashtra impasse and reiterated that the people of the state want to see a chief minister from the regional party.

Sena leader and executive editor of Saamana Sanjay Raut said clarified that editorial didn’t mean Sena MLAs are being poached. He said he has been informed that people from other parties are being targeted.

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