A few days ago, former Finance Minister of Maharashtra, Sudhir Mungantiwar had predicted that the state might be starting at a President rule if the government is not formed until November 7. This was after the disagreement over the modalities of government formation in the state between erstwhile alliance partner Shiv Sena and BJP.
The Shiv Sena was adamant on confirming to what it called a “50-50 formula” pre-decided with the BJP before the polls, wherein both Shiv Sena and BJP would have their respective Chief Minister for 2.5 years each. However, the BJP said that this provision of rotational chief ministerial post was never discussed with the Shiv Sena.
Following Mungatiwar’s assertions, a rattled Shiv Sena took a swipe at the BJP in its editorial piece in Saamana published on November 2, sarcastically questioning the BJP if they have the President in their pocket. Taking a dig at their senior alliance partner, the Saamana editorial piece contemptuously questioned if the President’s rubber stamp is lying in the Maharashtra BJP office and the if the BJP uses it to enforce President rule in the state if they fail to form their government.
In a scathing attack against the BJP, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece termed the assertion made by Sudhir Mungantiwar as “threat that undermines the democracy in the state”. It further slammed the BJP saying it has insulted the people of Maharashtra by disrespecting their mandate.
“BJP thinks that it is their birth-right to form a government in the state, notwithstanding the mandate given by the public. They don’t care if they have numbers or not, all they want is to obstruct those who can form the government. Issuing threats of enforcing President rule, can they even claim to form half-government in the state? President’s office is the highest office in the country. It is not in someone’s pocket,” the editorial read.
The two parties-Shiv Sena and BJP fought the elections in an alliance but following disputes over power-sharing formula, the two parties parted ways. Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray in a press conference declared that he doesn’t need Amit Shah and Devendra Fadnavis to form government in Maharashtra and said that Shiv Sena will review all the options available to it.
Yesterday, before visiting the Governor to Thackeray called up Sonia Gandhi, the interim president of Congress, seeking support for the Shiv Sena-NCP government. However, after reportedly agreeing to extend outside support, Sonia Gandhi held back Congress’ support reasoning that it will come to a conclusion after meeting with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Congress MLAs.
In the meanwhile, the Governor asked the third-largest party NCP to prove their majority in the house. However, they could not. There were rumours doing the rounds that the NCP was demanding a rotational chief ministerial post with Shiv Sena. Although governor had given NCP time till 8.30 PM on 12th, NCP approached the governor at aroung 11.30 AM and sought more time to stake a claim, indicating that they have not gatherred enough support yet.
Sensing no political party was in the position of forming an alliance to stake a claim at the government in the state or form the government on its own, the Governor, exercising his discretionary powers, sent a report to the Union Home Ministry, recommending President rule to be imposed in the state. The recommendation from the Governor came after 17 days had elapsed since the declaration of the election results on October 24. Subsequently, the Union Cabinet approved the recommendation and sent it to the President, and President granted it imposing President’s rule in Maharshtra.