The crisis in Maharashtra government formation has deepened, with the BJP refusing to play ball. Leaders of the party met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after a meeting amongst themselves to convey the decision. After meeting the governor, BJP leader Chandrakant Patil said that Shiv Sena had insulted the mandate.
“We are not in a position to form a government. The Shiv Sena can form the government with Congress and NCP if they want,” Patil said.
Among the leaders who met the governor were caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Chandrakant Patil, Vinod Tawde and Pankaja Munde.
Patil said, “The BJP and Shiv Sena contested the recent Assembly election together, to which the people of the State gave a very good mandate. This mandate was enough to form the government. Yesterday, the governor invited us to form the government as we are the largest party. But disrespecting the mandate, the Sena expressed its desire not to form the government. We are not in a position to form the government alone either. We have informed the governor. The Shiv Sena can form a government with the NCP and the Congress if they so desire. We wish them all the best.”
With numbers such as the BJP with 105 seats, Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54, Congress 44, AIMIM 2, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, CPI(M) 1, Independents 13, Jan Surajya Shakti 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party 1, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena 1, PWPI 1, Prahar Janshakti Party 2, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 1, SP 2 and Swabhimani Paksha 1 in a 288-member Assembly, any other combination can only form a weak or unstable government.
BJP-Shiv Sena and NCP-Congress were two pre-poll alliances out of which the first alone crossed the majority mark of 144 seats. With the Sena and the NCP having nearly an equal number of seats and the Congress lagging behind, a government led by none of the three can be decisive, as the other two will tend to pull the strings quite strongly.
In the meantime, sources say that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is meeting with senior leaders of his party at Matoshree. After the meeting, a big announcement will be made by the Shiv Sena.