Mumbai: As the present Maharashtra Assembly is set to get dissolved on Saturday midnight, efforts to form the government have failed with the Shiv Sena firm on demanding the chief minister’s chair in lieu of support to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari now holds the key to how and when the next government will be formed in the state.
On November 9, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and the council of ministers will have to resign because the term of the government will end by then. Then, the Governor is expected to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as the single largest party in the state Assembly, to form the next government.
On Thursday, Nitin Gadkari put all speculation to rest when he clarified that Devendra Fadnavis would be BJP CM for a second term. According to News18 reports, Gadkari is expected to meet Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today.
Sena’s Sanjay Raut said of this: "Nitin Gadkari belongs to Mumbai so what is the big deal if he is visiting Mumbai. He will go to his home. If he is coming to Mumbai and if he has a letter from BJP saying that Shiv Sena will have CM post for 2.5 years then do let me know."
In recent dig at the BJP, Shiv Sena MP Raut said the BJP should form government as the single largest party and take “not 15 days but one month” to prove its majority, reported NDTV. He said it was up to the BJP to stake claim to power and prove its majority.
Replying on whether the Sena had an alternative, should it decide to break up with the BJP, Raut said: "If the governor calls the single largest party to form government and their Chief Minister takes oath, then they have to show their majority on the floor of the House. If they fail, then others can form government. The Sena can too. But it is only fair that the largest party get the chance first."
BJP and its ally Shiv Sena have failed to reach an agreement on government formation after the October 21 Assembly elections. The Shiv Sena has refused to back down on its demand for a "50:50" partnership with the BJP, including rotational chief ministership, and has moved its MLAs to a hotel in Mumbai in an apparent attempt to prevent defections to the BJP.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Constitutional experts said that the parties can take additional time to come to a consensus and only after exploring all options at government formation can President’s rule be implemented.
Shreehari Aney, former advocate general of Maharashtra said that the governor can also ask the incumbent administration to continue as caretaker until the next government is formed. This is a likely option to avoid a governance vacuum.
On Thursday, the BJP met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and said it had discussed the legal implications of the delay in government formation.
The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member Assembly, the Sena 56, Nationalist Congress Party 54 and the Congress 44.