Amid reports that the Congress is likely to give outside support to the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, the grand old party has called a second meeting to take a final call on the issue.
With the reports of a majority of MLAs favouring support to the Shiv Sena and the NCP in the state, the Congress leadership has to take a call by Monday.
Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday morning called a meeting of senior party leaders, including Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge, Jyotiraditya Scindia and others, to discuss the party's possible involvement in Maharashtra government formation.
Addressing reporters, the party's Maharashtra in-charge Kharge said, "We had a discussion on Maharashtra. We have called a meeting of leaders at 4 p.m. again which will also be attended by the Maharashtra leaders."
The Congress has sent all its 44 Maharashtra MLAs to Rajasthan capital Jaipur to avoid poaching. According to Congress sources, a decision on giving outside support or joining the government will be taken only after consultation with state leaders.
On Sunday, the BJP informed Governor B. S. Koshyari that it cannot form the government despite being the single largest party in the state. The Governor then invited the Shiv Sena, being the second largest party in the state to form the government.
The Shiv Sena, which won 56 out of the 288 seats in the state, insists on the rotational chief ministership in the state which the BJP refused leading to the political crisis for the last fortnight in the state.
The NCP and the Congress had won 54 and 44 seats, respectively, in the recently concluded assembly elections, while the BJP won 105 seats.
Sharad Pawar-led NCP has also called a meeting of the party's core committee to discuss government formation.
Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena's sole representative in the Union Cabinet, Arvind Sawant announced he would quit the government over the Maharashtra fallout.
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