Maha Government Formation: Uddhav twists the knife, asks BJP high command to approach him

The wait for a new government in Maharashtra prolonged on Thursday, with the BJP not staking claim, while an aggressive Shiv Sena remained firm on rotation of the chief minister's post.

According to Mid-Day, on Thursday, Uddhav told his MLAs very firmly that the issue wasn't about who would be the CM first in a rotational system but Fadnavis's statement that the Sena was never promised the CMO for two-and-a-half years. Some Sena leaders, who are averse to Fadnavis continuing in the top office in the alliance government, said it was too late for the CM to reach out to the Sena chief. "As per our president's demand, the BJP's high command should approach him before the situation gets out of control," a Sena leader told Mid-Day.

Shiv Sena MLAs on Thursday passed a resolution, authorising party chief Uddhav Thackeray to take a "final decision" on government formation in Maharashtra. After the meeting of the Sena MLAs at Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree', all the legislators went to Rangsharda Hotel, close to the party chief's home in suburban Bandra, where they have been shifted amid the ongoing uncertainty over government formation and fear of switching sides.

The move indicated that the party feared attempts to poach its legislators amid the ongoing tussle with the BJP. "It is necessary for all the MLAs to be together in the prevailing situation. Whatever decision Uddhavji takes will be binding on all of us," Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu said after the meeting. During the meeting that lasted for more than an hour, the legislators reiterated that the formula of "equal sharing of posts and responsibilities" agreed upon before the Lok Sabha polls should be implemented.

On the other hand, in Nagpur, BJP's senior leader Nitin Gadkari hoped for a positive decision, but asserted that Fadnavis, who has been elected as the leader, would be the party's CM. "I expect a decision in the interest of the people who have elected the BJP and Sena," he said. Gadkari dismissed a possibility of him replacing Fadnavis as the CM.

Thursday's political development suggested an impending constitutional crisis because the BJP approached Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to discus legal remedies and ramifications of the situation that would arise when it would fail to make a stable government. State BJP president Chandrakant Patil led a delegation to the Raj Bhavan and said later that the BJP and Sena would join hands to govern the state yet again under the leadership of Fadnavis because the people have voted for the grand alliance.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday accused the BJP of delaying the process of government formation in Maharashtra and creating a situation for the imposition of President's rule. Addressing a press conference here, he said the BJP should declare that it is unable to form the government and then the Shiv Sena will take further steps.

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