Maharashtra: BJP to discuss forming government; Sena, Congress shift MLAs
As Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday asked the Bharatiya Janata Party to "indicate the willingness and ability" to form government, a core group of the saffron party is set to meet today to discuss the invite. The BJP, the single largest party in the new Assembly, and its ally, the Shiv Sena, failed to form government amid a power tussle. Here's more.
Governor asked BJP to prove majority by Monday
Governor Koshyari on Saturday invited BJP leader and acting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to form government, asking him to prove his majority by November 11. The invite came as even a fortnight after the Maharashtra elections declared a majority victory for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, the two parties couldn't settle their differences and form government. The previous Maharashtra Assembly's tenure ended on Saturday.
Shiv Sena welcomed Governor's invite to BJP
Notably, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut welcomed the Governor's invite saying, "At least the Governor has begun the process of exploring for government formation. The BJP is the single-largest party and the rightful claimant to form government first." In fact, Raut also shared a Hindi couplet which translates to: people who come from "old money" remain graceful; your tone tells me you come from "new money."
You can read Raut's tweet here
जो खानदानी रईस हैं वो— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) November 10, 2019
मिजाज रखते हैं नर्म अपना,
तुम्हारा लहजा बता रहा है,
तुम्हारी दौलत नई-नई है।
Sena shifted MLAs to Madh Island resort to prevent poaching
Although the BJP is the single-largest party in the new Assembly, with 105 seats, it still doesn't have a majority in the 288-member Assembly without its alliance with the Shiv Sena, which won 56 seats. Foreseeing poaching of MLAs by the BJP, the Sena has shifted its MLAs to Madh Island resort, where party MLA Aaditya Thackeray also stayed overnight.
Amid poaching speculations, Congress shifts MLAs to Jaipur
The Congress Party, which has 44 seats in the new Assembly, went a step ahead and shifted its MLAs all the way to Jaipur, Rajasthan, where the party is in power. Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar had claimed that BJP was trying to "pursue" its MLAs.
Will vote against BJP on House floor: NCP
Meanwhile, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which won 54 seats, has decided to vote against the BJP on the floor of the House. Party leader Nawab Malik said they would try to form an alternate government if the BJP government falls, and also keep a close eye on whether the Sena votes against the saffron party. NCP leaders will hold a meeting on Tuesday.
Governor should invite NCP-Congress to form government: Milind Deora
Separately, Congress leader Milind Deora tweeted on Sunday saying that the second-largest alliance in the Assembly, the NCP-Congress, should be invited to form the government, since the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has failed to do so.
What led to the Maharashtra political impasse?
To recall, after the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won a majority, the two parties debated over a 50:50 rotational CM policy, wherein BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and Sena's first-time MLA Aaditya Thackeray would share the CM seat for 2.5 years each. The BJP refused to accept the policy while the Sena remained firm on its demands which led to a standoff between the two parties.
Fadnavis also resigned as CM on Friday
In light of the impasse, Devendra Fadnavis also submitted his resignation as the Chief Minister on Friday, ahead of the dissolution of the former state Assembly. While announcing the resignation, Fadnavis reiterated that the 50:50 policy was never agreed on.