Governor invites Shiv Sena to stake claim to form govt in Maharashtra

BJP prefers fresh Maha polls divorce with Sena imminent

Reacting to the development, State BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the Governor has initiated the process as per the Constitutional requirements.

Raut hit out at Maharashtra's caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and accused him of playing politics of fear, while making a reference to German dictator Adolf Hitler.

The BJP and the Sena had together won 161 seats in the 288-member House, way above the halfway mark of 145.

The Shiv Sena's claim of 50-50 government formula, asking for the chief minister's post of two and half years has not been accepted by the BJP.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on November 9 asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to "indicate willingness and ability" to form government in the state, creating hope that the 15-day-long political impasse in the state will end.

If the BJP refuses to form a minority government or fails to prove its majority, the Shiv Sena, the second-largest party, may stake claim to form the government.

"If it (Shiv Sena) is in a position to form the government along with the support of the Congress - NCP, our best wishes are with them", said Patil, who was flanked by his former minister colleagues like Ashish Shelar, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Vinod Tawde, Pankaja Munde and Girish Mahajan, at the brief media interaction on the lawns of Raj Bhavan. The Sena has insisted on rotating the chief minister's post saying that the two parties agreed to it before the April-May national elections as part of a "50-50" power-sharing agreement.

NCP president Sharad Pawar and many Congress leaders have communicated to their party chief Sonia Gandhi that their priority is to have a "non-BJP" chief minister in the state, the Rajya Sabha member said in the Marathi publication. However, the chiefs of both parties have so far refused to commit support to the Shiv Sena.

Amid uncertainty over government formation in Maharashtra, a poster calling for Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to be made Chief Minister has been put up outside Matoshree, the Thackeray's Mumbai residence.

Devendra Fadnavis during a press conference on Friday.

"If Congress leaders have taken any decision to ensure a stable government in Maharashtra, we welcome it", he said.

The opposition Congress also conducted informal discussions with its legislators, now flown to Jaipur, to gauge their mood on supporting the Sena, though the party high command has already expressed its reluctance in the matter. "The Shiv Sena will declare its strategy if no one else is able to form the government".

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