On Saturday, Prasar Bharti reported that the Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had invited Devendra Fadnavis to form the new government.
The Sena reacted by distancing itself. Sanjay Raut told Free Press Journal's Neeta Kolhatkar: "We welcome the Governor's decisions. Aamcha sambadha kay (Nothing to do with us)."
According to Neeta Kolhatkar, the current possible outcomes may be.
1. Fadnavis+rebels win the floor test and form the govt, however it's a less likely scenario.
2. Fadnavis fails the floor test.
3. Sena is then invited to form the government by the Governor.
4. Sena stakes claim and they too depend on a floor test.
5. By the time the next floor test comes around, the BJP and Sena make up.
There have been instances in the past when parties have tried to win the floor test by gaining a numerical advantage by bringing down the collective strength of the house.
What Fadnavis said yesterday
The Governor had asked him to continue as "acting" Chief Minister till alternative arrangements -- new government or President's rule -- are in place, he said.
The next government will be a BJP-led one, and his party will not resort to poaching MLAs, he said.
He said he had given a clean government, with honesty and transparency. "Maharashtra has been leading on all fronts.
We worked on water conservation schemes like Jalyukt Shivar and on huge infrastructure projects," Fadnavis said.
"People of Maharashtra gave us a good mandate in Lok Sabha elections and in Assembly polls the people gave more than 160 seats to the BJP-led alliance," he said.
However, it was a shock for the BJP when the Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray declared soon after the results that "all options were open for Shiv Sena to form the government", Fadnavis said.
"People had voted for Maha-yuti (BJP-Sena-led alliance). Why did Uddhav ji say that all options are open when I had said the new government will be that of Mahayuti?" he asked.
On the Shiv Sena's contention that the two parties had decided, before the Lok Sabha polls, that the CM's post will be shared for two-and-half-years each, Fadnavis said, "In my presence, no such decision was not taken. In fact, we had broken off the talks on this issue. I was present at all the deliberations. I checked with Amit Shah ji, who also said that a proposal for sharing chief minister's post was given, but no decision was taken."
Deadlock between BJP-Sena
The state is witnessing a deadlock as the BJP and Sena, who together won enough seats in the October 21 state elections to come to power, are locked in a bitter tussle over the chief minister's post.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who met the media on Saturday to give his reaction on the Ayodhya verdict, sidestepped a question about government formation.
"That will happen. Don't worry. Today is a joyous day" he said, welcoming the SC judgment.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis resigned as chief minister on Friday. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari accepted the resignation and asked him to continue as caretaker CM.
As the stalemate over government formation in Maharashtra continues, alliance partner BJP and Shiv Sena locked in a bitter tussle war over chief minister's post.
In the just concluded state polls to 288-member Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally. The Sena's tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats. No party or alliance has staked claim to form government in Maharashtra after the October 24 poll results, as the BJP and Sena are bickering over chief minister's post.
Devendra Fadnavis meets RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as Maharashtra impasse continues
While the Maharashtra government formation stuck in limbo, here are some possible scenarios:
1. BJP can form government with Shiv Sena: This is the actual plan which both parties agreed too. But now, Shiv Sena is demanding 2.5 years of chief ministership, BJP seems to be in no mood to budge to Sena's demands.
2. The BJP can also stake claim to form the government as it is the single largest party and will have to prove majority in 15 days.
3. Other possibility is that BJP gets some MLAs to abstain during floor test, which can ensure Fadnavis wins the floor test.
4. But, if Fadnavis fails to secure majority, then the second-largest party, Shiv Sena may stake claim to form the government. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut has already reiterated that Maharashtra's next CM would be from the party. On the other hand, NCP chief Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi which is already fuelling speculation on government formation.
5. Next possibility is that, NCP forms government with the support of Congress and outside support of Shiv Sena. It is quite possible that if Sena and BJP reaches breaking point, Uddhav Thackeray may support NCP.