Mumbai: Latest reports claim that Congress has offered outside support to Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. With Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also confirming its support to Shiv Sena, the coalition is set to form the government in Maharashtra 18 days after the declaration of Assembly election results on October 24.

Shiv Sena is the second largest party in Maharashtra with 56 seats, after BJP that secured 105 seats. BJP on Sunday declined to stake claim to form the government.

Following this, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the second-largest party in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena to stake a claim to form the government.

Earlier, Sharad Pawar-led NCP had said that it will support Shiv Sena only if the Sena walks out of the NDA. Accordingly, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant resigned as Union minister (heavy industries and public enterprises). Shiv Sena cut ties with the NDA and now is all set to form the government in Maharashtra with the help of Congress and the NCP.

NCP had won 54 seats and Congress won 44 seats in the 288 Assembly constituencies in Maharashtra. Together, the Shiv Sena-NCP (Congress) coalition has 154 MLAs (the simple majority is 145).

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai after he complained of chest pain.

The meeting between Aaditya Thackeray, Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena and the Governor are underway right now after the party received a letter from the Congress formalising their decision to offer outside support.