Mumbai: The tussle with Shiv Sena over power sharing far from being resolved, the BJP today said it would not stake claim to form the government in Maharashtra and accused the ally of “insulting” the people’s mandate. The move placed the onus on the Sena, which said they would “see if they can form government”. Without spelling anything out, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party said it would “support a stable government”. On Saturday, as the term of the legislative assembly ended and the feud between the two allies continued unabated, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had invited the BJP to form government.
Here are the Top 10 developments in this big story:
- The BJP announcement came this evening after two rounds of meeting of the party’s core committee a day before it was expected to form government.
- After a meeting with the Governor, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil told reporters: “The mandate of the people was for the Shiv Sena-BJP combine. We cannot form the government on our own. 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”.
- The BJP decision comes days after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met party chief Amit Shah and Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the BJP’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
- Neither Sena, nor the BJP has the numbers to form government on their own. The Congress and the NCP, too, lack the numbers and both parties earlier said that they were ready to sit in the opposition.
- The Sena won 56 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly and claim to have the support of 61 MLAs. The BJP won 105 seats. The Congress has 44 MLAs and its ally, Sharad Pawar’s NCP, 54.
- In an editorial in Saamana, the party mouthpiece, the Sena last week said: “With 54 MLAs of NCP, 44 Cong MLAs and few independents, we can reach majority. The Sena can present its own Chief Minister and for that, 3 parties with independent ideology should form policies which are acceptable to all”.
- But after a meeting with Sharad Pawar, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had ruled out the possibility of aligning with the Shiv Sena.
- The Sena had been adamant in their demand for half the cabinet berths and a rotational system for the Chief Minister’s post. The BJP had made it clear that it would not share the top post. The Sena has been on the warpath since.
- Yesterday, after the Governor’s invite, the party had moved its legislators to a resort in Madh, two hours away from Mumbai. “We believe that the BJP will try all means to horsetrade MLAs,” said Sena leader Sanjay Raut.
- The Congress too, moved their legislators out of the state — all 41 of them are in Rajasthan capital Jaipur. Mr Raut had said, “I am confident that the Congress MLAs cannot be traded”.
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