BJP refuses to form Maha govt, dares Sena to ally with Cong-NCP
Photo: PTI

On Sunday, caretaker CM Devendra Fadnavis left for Raj Bhavan along with his ministers and told the Governor that BJP doesn't have to numbers to form the Government.

Chandrakant Patil announced that the BJP won't establish the government and would like to sit in the opposition. It urged Shiv Sena to ally with Congress-NCP and establish govt.

Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena on the other hand said, "Party chief Uddhav Thackeray ji clearly said today that Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena. If Uddhav ji has said so, then it means that there will be CM from Shiv Sena, at any cost."

One major twist now is the revelation that 44 Congress MLAs have unanimously decided to extend their support to Shiv Sena. The decision is said to be motivated by the MLAs decision to keep BJP out of power at all costs.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday met the party's newly-elected MLAs from Maharashtra, who are currently staying at a resort in Jaipur, to discuss the political situation in the state.

Kharge, who is the All India Congress Committee's (AICC) generally secretary, met the legislators informally to ascertain their views on what stand the party should take about government formation in Maharashtra, senior Congress leader Manikrao Thakare told PTI.

Meanwhile Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray met his MLAs, who are also holed up in a hotel in Mumbai, to discuss the political situation. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut too hit out at Maharashtra's caretaker chief minister, accusing him of playing politics of fear, while making a reference to German dictator Adolf Hitler in the backdop of logjam over government formation in the state.

Without naming Fadnavis, Raut said, "When ways of threatening and seeking political support don't work, it is time to accept that Hitler is dead and the looming clouds of slavery have disappeared."

In his column 'Rokhthok' in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', he said Fadnavis, despite being blessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to become chief minister for the second time, has not been able to assume the top post in Maharashtra. "He could not take oath because BJP chief Amit Shah has remained aloof from developments in the state," Raut said.

Raut said even 15 days after the results were announced, Fadnavis could not take oath as the chief minister. "The BJP's biggest ally Shiv Sena not ready to speak to the outgoing chief minister is the biggest defeat (of the BJP). This time, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will decide the next chief minister of Maharashtra," he said.

He also claimed in the Marathi publication that NCP president Sharad Pawar and many Congress leaders have communicated to their party chief Sonia Gandhi that their priority is to have a "non-BJP" chief minister in the state.

All eyes, in the meantime, are on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar, who is meeting his party MLAs on Tuesday. "We will take a call on the matter the same day," said NCP leader Nawab Malik.

"If the BJP-Shiv Sena form government, we will sit in Opposition. Otherwise we will explore options for an alternate government," said Malik.

The BJP remerged as the single-largest party in the assembly polls winning 105 seats while Shiv Sena won 56 seats.

Shiv Sena has insisted that the two parties had a '50-50' power-sharing agreement before the elections.

However, Fadnavis has said the Shiv Sena was not promised the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was sealed before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Congress vs Congress

It was Congress vs Congress over government formation in Maharashtra as the grand old party's two senior leaders contradicted each other with Milind Deora expecting Governor's invite for second largest NCP-Congress alliance while Sanjay Nirupam saying it was impossible.

The reactions came a day after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari invited Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the single largest party with 105 MLAs after the recent Assembly elections in the state, and its legislature party leader Devendra Fadnavis to "indicate willingness" and "ability" to form government.

Expressing his opinion on Twitter, Deora said: "Maharashtra's Governor should invite NCP-Congress, the second largest alliance to form government now that the BJP-Shiv Sena have refused to do so."

(With agency inputs)

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