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Raut to meet Maha Guv as standoff on govt formation continues

Amid the ongoing tussle over government formation in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said his scheduled meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday evening will be a "courtesy call" with no political motive.

Raut said the governor was like the state's guardian and therefore, he would meet him to talk on various issues.

"It will be a courtesy meet and not political. I am going to talk to the governor on various issues. We will also inform him about our stand," he told reporters here without elaborating.

The meeting is slated to take place a day after the Rajya Sabha member claimed his party would soon have its chief minister with the support of "170 MLAs".

With the deadlock over formation of government continuing in the state, Raut also said on Sunday that talks with the BJP will take place only on the issue of the chief minister's post.

However, Chief Minister Fadnavis told reporters in Akola on Sunday that the new government will be formed soon.

Amid the impasse, the Sena also appeared to have reached out to the NCP as its senior leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday disclosed to reporters a message sent to him by Raut.

The message read: "Namaskar mi Sanjay Raut. Jai Maharashtra".

Reacting to it, Pawar said, "This means I should call him. I will call and check."

With the government formation in Maharashtra in a limbo, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is scheduled to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday.

Chief Minister Fadnavis is also scheduled to meet BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital on Monday.

In the recent polls to 288-member state Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.