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Published On: Sun, Nov 10th, 2019

BJP will not stake claim to form the govt. in Maharashtra

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879577-chandrakant-patil-fadnavisMUMBAI : Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today invited leaders of the second largest party, the Shiv Sena, to form government, hours after BJP announced that it will not be able to form the government in the state.
The ball is now in NCP’s court with the Sharad Pawar-led party saying that it will think of its next move after governor’s latest invite. Meanwhile, Malikarjun Kharge and other senior Congress leaders have decided to meet Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.

The Congress in Maharashtra today said it didn’t want President’s Rule in the state which is in the midst of a political crisis in view of the BJP’s announcement that it would not form government. Senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said newly elected MLAs of the party will seek advice from the party high-command over its future political stand in the state.
High drama unfolded on Sunday evening as Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil announced that the party has informed Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari that it does not have the numbers to form the government. The party asked former ally Shiv Sena to go ahead and form the government with NCP-Congress. He accused Uddhav Thackeray-led party of insulting people’s mandate.

Earlier today, in an apparent softening of stand, the Shiv Sena has said that while its ideology is different to that of the Congress, it doesn’t consider the grand old party to be an enemy. The subtle shift in position, voiced by Sanjay Raut, comes amid a deadlock between the Sena and ally BJP over government formation in Maharashtra 15 days after election results.
Meanwhile,Congress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday met the party’s newly-elected MLAs from Maharashtra, who are staying at a resort in Jaipur, to discuss the political situation in the state while NCP chief Sharad Pawar met some of his party leaders in Mumbai.
Later talking to reporters in Jaipur, Kharge reiterated his party’s stand of sitting in the Opposition in Maharashtra, while Pawar said he would react only to an official statement from the Sonia Gandhi-led party.
“We have not changed our stand from day one. We have always maintained that we will sit in the Opposition and respect the mandate,” Kharge said after meeting the Maharashtra Congress MLAs in Jaipur.
According to senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakare Mr Kharge met the MLAs informally to ascertain their views on what stand the party should take over the government formation in Maharashtra. “Kharge will then convey the sentiments of the legislators to the party leadership,” he said.
“The Congress has to decide if it wants to stop the BJP in Maharashtra or whether it doesn’t care if the BJP is able to form a government. An alternative government can be formed only with the support from the Congress,” he said.
In another development, NCP chief Sharad Pawar also held a meeting with some of his party leaders in Mumbai. Refusing to speak on a “non-BJP alliance”, Pawar said “I cannot go by news reports about the decision of the Congress. I will react only when the Congress officially informs me about its decision,” Pawar told reporters.
“The mandate is for the BJP-Sena (to form government) and for the Congress-NCP to sit in the Opposition,” he told reporters.”It looks like the BJP-Sena alliance has broken. There have been talks that the Shiv Sena and NCP may join hands to stake claim for the government. I feel respect to the mandate is not indulging in government formation exercise,” he said.
The BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are locked in a bitter tussle over the chief minister’s post.Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday asked the BJP, the single largest party in the new Assembly, to “indicate the willingness and ability” to form government in the state.In the October 21 polls to the 288-member state Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and Congress-44.

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 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”.
But after a meeting with Sharad Pawar, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had ruled out the possibility of aligning with the Shiv Sena.
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 horse trade 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.
(Bureau Report With Agency Inputs ).

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