In a major development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said it will not stake claim to form the government in Maharashtra as the saffron party fell short of majority mark after alliance partner Shiv Sena backtracked to support the BJP in government formation.
After meeting the governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari, the BJP stated that they did not have sufficient numbers to form the government and wished luck to Shiv Sena which intends to form the next government with the support of Congress and the NCP. Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena is confident of getting support of Congress and NCP to form the government.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said, “Despite the mandate with the alliance with Shiv Sena, we will not form a government. The Shiv Sena wants to insult the people’s mandate. We have conveyed to the state Governor that we will not form the state government.”
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil further added that if Shiv Sena wanted to form the government in Maharashtra in alliance with the Congress, it can go ahead. “They have our blessing,” he said.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other BJP leaders had arrived at Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to convey their stand on the issue of government formation in Maharashtra.
The significant development comes after the Maharashtra BJP conducted two meetings today in order to respond to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after he asked the BJP to “indicate the willingness and ability” to form a government.
Earlier in the day, Congress MLAs who are currently residing in a resort in Jaipur had expressed their support to an alliance with Shiv Sena to keep BJP out of power in the state. The Congress MLAs had even written a letter to NCP urging to support the Shiv Sena- Congress-NCP alliance.
Shiv Sena had also hinted at the possibility of joining hands with the Congress to form the next government in Maharashtra. Speaking on the government formation in Maharashtra, Sanjay Raut had said, “If nobody is ready to form the government (in Maharashtra), then Shiv Sena can take the lead.”
In an apparent softening of the stand for Congress, the Shiv Sena on Sunday said that while its ideology is different from that of the Congress party, it does not consider the grand old party to be an enemy. The shift in position comes at a time when deadlock between the Sena and ally BJP appears not going away over government formation in Maharashtra.
On Saturday, Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had invited Devendra Fadnavis of BJP to form the next government in the state, if they are willing to do so and have required numbers.
Devendra Fadnavis had resigned from the post of the chief minister a day ahead of his term was scheduled to end on Saturday. The governor had him asked to continue as acting-CM following his resignation.
In the October 21 polls, the BJP won 105 seats while ally Sena won 56 seats. The majority mark in the 288-member state Assembly is 145. NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats each.