Sanjay Nirupam cautions Cong against supporting Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Disgruntled Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, who kept away from the campaigning during the Maharashtra Assembly elections, on Friday cautioned his party not to support the Shiv Sena in forming the next government in the state.

“With the ref of my earlier tweet, I reiterate Congress should not get into #ShivSenaBJP drama. It’s fake. It’s their temporary fight to grab more power share. They will be together again and will keep abusing us. How can some Congress leaders think of supporting Shiv Sena? Have they lost it?” tweeted Nirupam.

“To the best of my understanding, #ShivSena will never ever come out of the shadow of #BJP. So, there is no point in flirting with them. It’s going to be a futile exercise. Hope the state leaders will realise the truth,” he earlier wrote on Twitter.

With the Shiv Sena insisting on rotational chief ministership and the BJP refusing to blink, the stalemate between the saffron parties continues over government formation in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut even met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to pressurise the BJP on this.

But the Congress is hopeful that the BJP obduracy will eventually force a stronger Shiv Sena post elections to dump its ally, and is weighing its options to support the Sena and form the government.

The Congress leaders are in discussion with various stakeholders in this regard. Former state chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan had on Thursday met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar to seek his advice. On Friday, they are meeting Sonia Gandhi to discuss the issue.

Though it says there is no proposal for support from the Shiv Sena yet, the Congress is keenly watching the political developments in the state, where the new government has to take over by November 7 to avoid the President’s Rule.

If talks with the Shiv Sena fail, the BJP is willing to form the government with the support of Independents and smaller parties in the hope that the NCP will bail it out the way it did in 2014.