The NCP on Tuesday said a government cannot be formed in Maharashtra without the support of the Congress and discussions among "three parties".
Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has asked the Sharad Pawar-led party to express its "ability and willingness" to stake claim to form government in the state by 8.30 pm on Tuesday.
Addressing reporters after the meeting of NCP MLAs here amid the logjam over government formation, party's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said the NCP has authorised Pawar to form an "alternative government" to end the political instability in the state.
"A committee has been formed under Pawar to discuss government formation," he said.
"Government cannot be formed without the support of Congress and holding discussions among three parties (NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena)," he added.
Malik also said that senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and K C Venupgopal will meet Pawar in Mumbai at 5 pm today.
The Shiv Sena on Monday suffered a setback in its efforts to cobble up a non-BJP government in the state with the Congress at the last moment announcing its decision to hold more talks with ally NCP on supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
While Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray said two parties (Congress and NCP) have agreed "in-principle" to support the Sena-led government, the governor refused additional time sought by his party to get letters of support and muster numbers.
Later, the NCP, which is the third-largest party in the state, got an invite from the governor, asking it to express "willingness and ability to form government".
With 54 MLAs, the NCP is the third-largest party after the BJP (105) and the Shiv Sena (56) in the 288-member House, where the halfway mark in 145. The Congress has 44 MLAs.
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