Mumbai, Nov 16: The Shiv Sena said on Saturday that it would not attend a meeting of NDA constituents on the eve of winter session of Parliament, making clear that its exit from the national-level BJP-led alliance was almost certain.

As the party is holding talks with the Congress and NCP for forming government in Maharashtra, its Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut also said that it wants Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to be the chief minister.

The Sena also accused the BJP of having intentions to indulge in "horse-trading" in the state, which is under President's rule since November 12.

The Thackeray-led party fell out with the BJP over sharing of chief minister's post after the two allies won a comfortable majority in the last month's assembly polls.

The Sena's lone minister in the Narendra Modi government, Arvind Sawant, resigned on November 11.

"I have learnt that the meeting (of NDA constituents) is being held on November 17. We had already decided against attending the meeting considering the developments in Maharashtra...our minister resigning from the Central government," Sanjay Raut said.

Asked if only a formal announcement of the Sena walking out of the NDA remains to be made, Raut said, "You can say that. There is no problem with saying that."

He also said that "we want Uddhav-ji to lead the government in Maharashtra".

The Sena, NCP and Congress have reached a consensus on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP), the basis of their proposed coalition government, and there was no need to discuss it in Delhi, Raut said.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has convened a meeting of his party's core committee in Pune on Sunday.

He may meet senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Delhi next week, and a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi may follow to discuss the CMP and other modalities of forming a coalition with the Sena, sources said.

Earlier in the day, the Sena mouthpiece `Saamna' sharpened its attack on the BJP in its editorial over a statement by state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil.

Patil had said on Friday that with the support of independents, his party's tally in the 288-member Assembly stands at 119, and it will form government soon. The BJP's own strength is 105.

"Those with 105 seats had earlier conveyed to the governor that they do not have the majority. How come they are now claiming that only they will form the government?" the Sena mouthpiece asked. "...the intention of horse-trading stand exposed now," it added.

Maharashtra was placed under President's rule on November 12 after no party or alliance staked claim to form government.

The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for support after its alliance with the BJP collapsed.

The BJP and Sena, which fought the October 21 polls in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively. The Congress and NCP, pre-poll allies, won 44 and 54 seats.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was quoted as saying that the BJP would form the government.

The BJP held a meeting of its defeated candidates here on Saturday. State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil told reporters later that Fadnavis expressed confidence that the party would form government.

Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.



New Delhi, Dec 16: Unrest over the police crackdown in Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act rippled in angry waves through the country on Monday with demonstrations in several campuses, including in Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai.

The morning after violence broke out in the national capital, thousands of students across India took to the streets demanding a probe into the use of teargas inside the Jamia library as well as police entering the campus without permission from university authorities.

There was heavy police presence in university campuses.

Several Delhi University students boycotted exams and held a protest outside the Arts Faculty in North Campus to express their solidarity with the movement. They said they will gather at India Gate on Monday evening.

At ground zero of the student movement, a group of Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling cold of a Delhi morning to protest the action against their colleagues on Sunday.

Several students were seen leaving for home but the anger simmered. Slogans of "inquilab zindabad" were heard about 10 students, accompanied by their fellow colleagues, took out a small march, demanding a CBI inquiry into the "police brutality".

As a few women escorted an injured student to narrate their ordeal to the media, some people were seen asking them not to give any statements.

"We were inside the university when the police barged in. Around 20 policemen came from gate no 7 and 50 others came from the rear gate. We told them we were not involved in the violence. They didn't listen. They didn't even spare women," Khanzala, who suffered injuries to his legs and abdomen, said.

A woman broke down as Khanzala showed his injuries to the media.

Fifty detained Jamia students were released early Monday but tension continued in the campus.

In Lucknow's Nadwa College, students gathered in the hundreds shouting slogans like "Awaz do, hum ek hain" (call us we are all united) as police tried to control the situation.

"Some students of the Nadwatul Ulama here tried to protest and hurled stones from inside. They were prevented and no one is allowed to come outside the campus," said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police O P Singh.

In Hyderabad's Maulana Azad Urdu University, students held a protest march post midnight in solidarity with the Jamia students and demanded that their exams be postponed.

There were angry demonstrations at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi and at Jadavpur University in Kolkata with demands that the government take action against police "hooliganism".

"Crackdown is a very small word to be used for what happened in Jamia yesterday. This is clear hooliganism. Videos of policemen smashing bikes and beating students are all over social media. The government must fix accountability for this," said a PHD student at BHU.

Ridhima Dua, a Jadavpur University student, asked how teargas could be used inside a closed compound.

"if I am molested on a street and go to police to file a complaint I will be told about norms. Where are the norms now? How can teargas be used inside a closed compound? How can policemen just barge into the university without any permission from vice chancellor? There has to be a probe in this," she said.

Students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai also protested on the streets shouting slogans such as "Shame on Delhi Police".

In Chennai, students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras called for a protest.

The first to join the movement against the violence in Jamia were students from the Aligarh University University (AMU) where there were clashes with the police late at night on Sunday in which at least 60 students were injured.

After the protest, the administration announced closure of the university till January 5 and students have been asked to evacuate the hostels.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the state government was committed to provide security to every citizen of the state. "For this, it is necessary that everyone follows the law. Nobody will be allowed to disturb the atmosphere of peace in the state," he said.

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students joined their compatriots in Jamia outside the police headquarters at Delhi's ITO on Sunday night to protest the alleged police assault on students at the Jamia campus earlier in the day.

The university turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force, following protest against the Act.