New Delhi: Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra declined the invitation to form government, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday called upon its ally Shiv Sena to indicate “willingness and ability” to stake claim for the state government.

The Governor has given Shiv Sena time till 8 PM on November 11 to prove numbers on paper, only after approving which he will invite the party to stake claim for Maharashtra government.

The political turmoil in Maharashtra took a new turn after BJP, which appeared as the single largest party in the recently concluded assembly polls, said it would not form government. The development came after the party conducted two meetings to discuss upon the Governor’s invitation.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Commenting on the tug of war-like situation between BJP and Shiv Sena that has caused the uncertainty over Maharashtra government formation, BJP state President Chandrakant Patil said, “The mandate was given to the alliance to work together. If the Shiv Sena wants to insult the mandate of the people and form government with the support of the NCP and Congress, they have our best wishes.”
  • Within the next few minutes, Sena MP Sanjay Raut declared that if the state has Chief Minister, it will be from Shiv Sena ‘at any cost’.
  • “Party chief Uddhav Thackeray ji clearly said today that Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena. If Uddhav ji has said so, then it means that there will be CM from Shiv Sena at any cost,” Raut said.
  • Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party as well as the Maharashtra Congress have been leaning towards an alliance with the Sena, although there are no confirmation from either parties.
  • The Congress rejected the idea of a President’s rule in the state and said it is keeping an eye on recent developments. “We are meeting now and discussing all the options before us. We have not decided anything yet,” Congress leader Ashok Chavan said.
  • At the same time, the NCP will hold a meeting on November 12 to discuss on the possibilites of allying with the Sena. “If the Shiv Sena wants our support, they will have to declare that they have no relation with BJP and they should pull out from National Democratic Alliance (NDA). All their ministers will have to resign from Union Cabinet,” said NCP leader Nawab Malik adding that the party supports ‘a stable government’.
  • Neither Sena, nor the BJP or the Congress and NCP have the numbers to form government on their own. While the Congress-NCP were firm on sitting in opposition, both parties require to overcome their lack of seats. Meanwhile, the Sena also needs support from other parties to be able to stake claim.

Notably, the BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly elections, while Sena won 56 seats. The Congress has 44 MLAs and its ally, Sharad Pawar’s NCP, 54.