BJP in Maharashtra
Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wearing masks of Indian Prime Minister in Maharashtra.Reuters File/Danish Siddiqui

In Maharashtra, where the BJP has failed to get majority in the recent assembly elections, the decision on government formation will likely be taken post Diwali.

Home minister Rajnath Singh and BJP MP JP Nadda were scheduled to arrive in Mumbai on Tuesday to discuss government formation in the state. However, Singh has reportedly postponed the visit till Diwali.

"I am not going today (Tuesday). I think I will visit Mumbai after Deepawali," Hindustan Times quoted Singh as saying.

Singh and Nadda are supposed to orchestrate the selection process for the next Chief Minister of the state. The party is still undecided on whether it would form a government on its own or with outside support from NCP or Shiv Sena. 

Joining hands with Shiv Sena is unlikely as the latter has demanded half the share in ministries along with deputy chief minister's post, which BJP is not ready to grant. As a result, BJP may consider forming a minority government with the support of independent candidates, regional smaller parties and outside support of NCP.

However, the decision on forming minority government will come after holding further talks with the Shiv Sena to convince the party to accept 10 ministerial seats.

"If the Sena is adamant, we have a backup plan -- we might form a minority government. But that is only after ruling out talks with the Sena," The Economic Times quoted a BJP leader as saying.

Sena, meanwhile, has been rigid about having control over half of the 43 ministerial berths despite BJP's resistance. Several BJP leaders said that BJP, being the largest party in the state, will not give half of the seats in the ministry. What BJP has offered is: 10 seats, including some major portfolios.

"The party is willing to give a third of the portfolios, including 10 'heavyweight' portfolios, to the Sena," Daily News & Analysis reported.

"Talks have been on with Sena since yesterday (Sunday). Sena wants cabinet berths to be divided on a 1:1 ratio, which is unacceptable to us. We have almost double the number of seats and a strong government at the Centre. We are willing to decide on the basis of 2:1 ratio, but some Sena leaders have told us that is not acceptable to them," a BJP leader said.

But Shiv Sena is not ready to accept only one-third of the total ministerial positions in the cabinet and is being adamant on getting half the share, else it claims it will actively participate as the opposition in the House.

"There is a consensus in the party that if we want to be part of the government, we should get a fair share. But if that doesn't happen, then the situation will turn. The BJP will challenge us in the BMC. We will have to prepare for civic elections within six months," Hindustan Times quoted a Shiv Sena legislator as saying.

After the 15 October assembly election in Maharashtra, BJP won 122 seats of the total 288 and became the single largest party in the state, however, it failed to win majority needed to form independent government in the state.