The phone call from Thackeray to Gandhi came before the Congress held a crucial meeting for a second time in the day to decide on whether or not to support the Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sena chief sought the Congress’ support to form a government in Maharastra, sources said.
The BJP and the Sena, long-term allies for around 30 years, won a majority together in last month’s Maharashtra elections. However, the Sena was hell bent on installing a CM from their party, following which it severed ties with the bigger ally.
“I had promised Balasaheb that there will be a Shiv Sena Chief Minister one day, and I will fulfill that promise, I don’t need Amit Shah and Devendra Fadnavis for that,” he had said.
The Sena, the second largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP’s 105 members, stepped up efforts to frab power in the politically crucial state. The party has time till 7.30 pm to stake claim on government formation. Thackeray also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai.
The Congress is expected to take a final call on extending support to the Shiv Sena at a meeting of its top leadership with Maharashtra state leaders.