Maharashtra crisis unresolved; BJP meets gov, doesn’t stake claim.
Mumbai: With an aggressive Shiv Sena remaining firm on the issue of a rotational chief ministership, the BJP failed to make any headway on Thursday. After failing to secure the Sena’s support, a BJP delegation which met state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari did not stake its claim to form the next government.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena moved all its 56 legislators to a five-star hotel in Bandra, close to party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence, to prevent poaching. However, senior party leader Sanjay Raut refuted the possibility of poaching, saying no one would dare to break his party’s MLAs.
Mr Thackeray, earlier at a meeting at his residence, clarified that the talks would be held only if the BJP was ready to part with the chief minister’s post. The Sena has been insisting on the top post for the first 2.5 years of the government.
“If the BJP is not ready to keep its promise, there is no point in holding a discussion. We do not want to break the alliance; it is the BJP who has to now decide,” he told his MLAs.
The Shiv Sena MLAs passed a resolution authorising Mr Thackeray to take a “final decision” on formation of the government in the state.
Sources from the Sena confirmed that the party had received a positive response from the Congress and the Sharad Pawar’s NCP and was confident of getting the required numbers to form its government. “We also have options and we will prove the numbers on the floor of the House,” said Mr Raut.
Addressing a press conf-erence outside Raj Bhavan, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil said that the Mahayuti (grand alliance) had the mandate to form a new government. “But as the formation of the new government has been delayed, we met the governor to discuss legal options. Besides, we have apprised him of the current political situation,” Mr Patil said.
“We have discussed the available legal options with the governor. The BJP high command will decide the future political strategy,” Mr Patil added.
The term of the current Assembly ends on November 8 (Friday). If no party stakes claim to form the government by Friday evening, the governor may invite the single-largest party, which is the BJP, to form the government and prove its majority within a stipulated period. If that party fails, the second-largest party may get the chance to form the government. If all attempts at government formation fail, a caretaker government may be appointed, which will work until the formation of a new government. But it will not be authorised to take any policy decisions. The swearing-in of the newly-elected MLAs will be held during the tenure of the caretaker government.