Mumbai: The master strategist and unifier of the new alliance between the Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress and the Shiv Sena, Sharad Pawar, is planning every move anticipating the obstacles Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah can conjure, to scuttle the formation of this new government.
"Pawar feels that even if the Sena, the NCP and the Congress submit their letters of support to the governor, he or the Central government are likely to delay the sanction to allow them to form the new government.
The Centre may take its own sweet time to lift President's rule from the state. We may then have to file a petition in the Supreme Court to force the Centre to take appropriate steps," a senior NCP leader said.
Bearing in mind this possibility, Pawar has already got a petition drafted by veteran lawyer V R Manohar. The NCP has also secured the signatures of its legislators on this petition. On Friday, the Congress legislators were asked to become signatories, too.
Incorrigible Fadnavis: It is understood that down but not out Devendra Fadnavis has still not given up on his CM aspirations. He is hopeful that he still has a chance to get back the Sena on board.
It is learnt that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has offered them the post of CM for 2.5 years. This news was leaked to a Marathi daily. But the Sena is in no mood to go back to the BJP.
Some days ago, Fadnavis had invited senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar and Dhananjay Munde for a late-night discussion. "He requested them to convince the NCP to support the BJP in government formation.
In lieu of this, he promised to help the NCP get a clean chit in various cases," a source familiar with the development said. While agreeing that he personally wanted to ally with the BJP, Ajit Pawar reportedly said, no one except Munde was in agreement with him.
"All have been elected in the name of Sharad Pawar. Convince him to support you. We cannot do anything," was his reply to Fadnavis. But the incorrigible former CM continues to dream that PM Modi will intervene, personally call Uddhav and all will be hunky-dory thereafter.