As BJP dares Sena, NCPs hint: Need arrangement to avoid re-election

Sanjay Raut

Without taking name of any individual or party, he said the bubble of being "invincible" has burst and the arrogance of "buying" a politician to form the government will no longer work in the state.

"We have just received the letter from the governor", Chandrakant Patil, who is state BJP president, said.

On Friday, with no end in sight to the standoff, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis submitted his resignation to the governor.

Besides the 105 members, the BJP has claimed the support of several Independents and smaller parties, though the exact figures are not clear and it is not known whether these would be sufficient to achieve the simple majority of 145 in the 288-member Assembly.

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. "If the BJP government falls, definitely in the interest of the state we will try to form an alternate government", NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.

Raut's column was published a day after Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which emerged as the single-largest party after last month's assembly elections in the state, to "indicate willingness and ability" 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. "This time, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will decide the next chief minister of Maharashtra", he said.

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Taking the reins in his hands, Koshyari has made a decision to explore the possibility of government formation and, hence, asked the BJP - the single-largest party with 105 elected legislators - to do the needful.

Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party would declare its next strategy once no one else is able to form government in Maharashtra, and asserted that politics was not a trade for his party.

The Shiv Sena "will step in" if no one forms government, Raut told reporters here.

BJP and Shiv Sena went to elections as allies, but after results were announced, the Uddav Thackeray-led party demanded "50-50" sharing of CM's post.

Shiv Sena chief fumed at this and said Devendra Fadnavis is not telling the truth.

Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, November 8, 2019. We will consider supporting an alternate government.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Raut, an MP, said that the party's priority is to ensure a stable government in Maharashtra. A party legislator said seeking anonymity that more MLAs are expected to join them.

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