BJP move to meet Governor spark speculation on government formation in Maharashtra

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MUMBAI: The Bharatiya Janata Party is geared to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday fuelling speculation in political circles about formation of the government.

 

Though the Shiva Sena remained adamant on their demand for a "50:50" formula for sharing power, including the chief minister, a senior BJP leader expressed confidence that the party will relent and join a BJP-led government in the state.

He cited the participation of six Shiv Sena ministers at a meeting called by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday to discuss the farm crisis in the state after rain as a positive indication. An NDTV report quoted sources as saying that a formula for government formation was discussed in the meeting.

"You cannot separate water, no matter how much you try to. Shiv Sena and BJP are together... We should wait for the news, the good news can come anytime. The government will be formed by the Mahayuti (alliance), no matter what anyone says or thinks," said BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar.

The report further said that the BJP ministers later met the Chief Minister at his home and discussed the division of portfolios with the Sena.

Despite the BJP-Sena alliance winning a clear majority together, the Sena's demand for a "50:50" formula blocked government formation. The BJP won 105 seats but says it has the support of 10 more MLAs. The Shiv Sena won 56 but claims the support of 64 with independents. The NCP, Congress and others have 102 seats.

The Shiv Sena had tried to woo the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party to join the party to form a government. However, interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar rejected the offer saying the mandate for them was to sit in the opposition.

Reacting to the BJP plan to meet the Governor, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that the MLAs will do what the party chief Udhav Thackery says. However, he reiterated the party’s demand for the chief minister’s post for half of the term.

If the BJP and Sena are unable to end the standoff, Maharashtra could be in for President's Rule after the term of its assembly ends on October 9 (Saturday).

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