New Delhi: The Shiv Sena, with the backing of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, was hoping to claim a share of power in Maharashtra last evening, taking its tally to 154 in the Assembly - nine from the majority mark. Among the factors that led to its pitch being queued in the eleventh hour were a phone conversation between Congress President Sonia Gandhi and NCP leader Sharad Pawar.
Sources say that on Monday evening, Sonia Gandhi softened her objections to the ideologically opposite support of the Shiv Sena. But a timely phone call to Sharad Pawar’s Sonia Gandhi deepened the Congress’ reluctance. In the morning, as the Congress began a series of consultations on Maharashtra, Sonia Gandhi was asked to strongly oppose the support of the Shiv Sena.