Amid Maharashtra tussle, Congress CWC to meet at Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi

Amid Maharashtra tussle, Congress CWC to meet at Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi

With a chance at power in Maharashtra in the offing, the Congress has called for an urgent meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Monday.

The CWC meeting will take place at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's Delhi residence at 10 am on Monday.

The meeting comes hours after major political developments in Maharashtra -- the BJP declaring that it can't form the government in the state, the Governor the Shiv Sena to stake a claim as well as Sena's lone Union Minister announcing his resignation from the Modi cabinet.

Heading to Delhi after meeting senior party leaders in Jaipur, where Maharashtra Congress MLAs are currently lodged, Mallikarjun Kharge said, "There's a meeting at 10 am today. We will proceed according to an instruction from the high command. But our original decision and decision of the people is that we should sit in opposition that is the present position."

Reports have suggested that Maharashtra Congress MLAs are keen to provide outside support to a Shiv Sena-NCP government in the state but party chief Sonia Gandhi remains hesitant over aligning with the right-wing Sena.

Congress sources said the party legislators from Maharashtra met in Jaipur with senior leaders to discuss the possibility of supporting a Sena-led government.

A close aide of a senior Congress leader in Mumbai told PTI that the MLAs will return to Mumbai from Jaipur Monday afternoon after which the party may announce its stand on the political impasse.

Meanwhile, other key players too are all going into their respective huddles. The Shiv Sena will be holding a meeting with its MLAs at the Retreat resort in Mumbai, where they have been kept to prevent poaching by the BJP.

At the YB Chavan Centre, NCP chief Sharad Pawar will chair the party's core group meeting over the current political situation in the state. Senior NCP leaders Praful Patel, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar and Jayant Patil will be present.

Similarly, a BJP core group meeting will be held today at the residence of caretaker CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Sunday's fast-paced developments seem to have increased the bargaining power of opposition Congress and NCP, as the Sena, which has 56 MLAs, is far away from the halfway mark of 145.

The role of the Congress (44 MLAs) and the NCP (54 MLAs) is crucial now.

So far, the Congress has refused to open its cards, while the NCP made it clear that the Sena would have to break away from the NDA before the Sharad Pawar-led party can think of lending support to the Uddhav Thackeray's party. Eventually, the Shiv Sena agreed and Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant announced his resignation from his ministerial post in the Modi cabinet.