Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Sunday advised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to grab the Governor's offer to explore possibilities and willingness to form the government in Maharashtra.

"We welcome the Governor's decision... The BJP is claiming it has the numbers to form the government. They should take advantage of this," Sena MP Sanjay Raut told mediapersons here.

Late on Saturday night, barely 4 hours before the term of the previous Assembly expired at midnight, Governor B.S. Koshyari issued a communique asking the BJP to express willingness and ability to form the government.

Though the Governor has mentioned no time-frame, official sources indicate that the BJP may try to reply as soon as possible.

"The party has already convened a meeting of its state core committee to decide upon the matter," BJP state spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told IANS.

"It will later authorise its state chief Chandrakant Patil to initiate suitable measures and convey to the Governor," he added.

The BJP has 105 MLAs, and claims support of a few independents and smaller parties, but it is not clear whether it can achieve the simple majority mark of 145 in the 288-member house.

To a question, Raut said it is unlikely that the BJP would succeed in 'horse-trading' or poaching on legislators from other parties.

He said from the confidence levels shown by the BJP, it appears they have the 'majority' and hence should grab the Governor's offer.

In case the BJP fails, the Governor is likely to invite Shiv Sena, the second largest party, and so on till all options are exhausted.

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