With the power tussle in Maharashtra hitting new levels every day, Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday met with party’s newly-elected MLAs from Maharashtra, who are currently staying at a resort in Jaipur, to discuss the political situation in the state. Kharge, who is the All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) generally secretary, met the legislators informally to ascertain their views on what stand the party should take about government formation in Maharashtra, senior congress leader Manikrao Thakare told news agency PTI.

“Kharge will then convey the sentiments of the legislators to the party leadership,” Thakare said. All 44 MLAs, including senior leaders like Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat, were staying at the resort in the Congress-ruled Rajasthan amid fear of “poaching” in view of the stalemate over government formation in Maharashtra.

The BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are locked in a bitter tussle over the chief minister’s post.

BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Devendra Fadnavis on November 8 said that there were never any talks of rotational Chief Ministership in his presence and that Shiv Sena has betrayed the mandate by making such demands. He added that Union minister Nitin Gadkari too confirmed the same after having a word with BJP chief Amit Shah. However, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray countered Fadnavis, saying such an arrangement was agreed by BJP chief Amit Shah ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday evening asked the BJP, the single largest party in the new Assembly, to “indicate the willingness and ability” to form government in the state. In the October 21 polls to the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.