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|October 14, 1999||
Maharashtra crisis deepens, no govt in sight
The crisis over the formation of the next government in Maharashtra has further deepened.
The crucial fourth round of talks between the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party ended in a deadlock even as the simmering differences within the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance came into the open. Sena chief Bal Thackeray yesterday decided to extend outside support to the BJP in government formation.
In a sudden turn of events late last night, the political crisis in the state deepened. There seem to be no signs of the next government even though seven days have passed after the results of the 10th assembly election were declared.
Though the Congress has staked the claim to form the next government, four rounds of talks with the breakaway NCP remained inconclusive.
In the rival camp, Thackeray has said that his party will not stake the claim for forming the next government. He gave his alliance partner a free hand to ally with any other party in Maharashtra to ensure that a stable government comes to power and to avoid elections.
The Sena chief said that the idea has already been discussed with the BJP decision-makers including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Union Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani.
It is difficult to satisfy the ambition of each and every elected member and at time it becomes impossible, he lamented.
Hence, in the larger interest of the state and to prevent cracks in the alliance, the Sena has taken a decision that the BJP is free to have an alliance with any other political party and form the government, the statement said.
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