The Bharatiya Janata Party president in Maharashtra, Chandrakant Patil, said after a meeting with the state Governor, BS Koshyari, on Sunday, November 10, that the BJP will not form government in the state.
"Despite the mandate with the alliance with Shiv Sena, we will not form government. The Shiv Sena wants to insult the people's mandate. We have conveyed to the Governor that we will not form the state government," said Patil. He added that the Shiv Sena can go ahead and form a government in alliance with the Congress. "They have our blessing," he said.
Hours before the announcement, the BJP's core committee in Maharashtra held a meeting to discuss the course of action on Governor BS Koshyari's invite to form the government. The Governor had asked Devendra Fadnavis, the leader of the elected members of the single-largest party, to indicate the willingness and ability of his party to form the government in Maharashtra.
"Elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly were held on 21 October and the results were declared on 24 October. However, despite the passage of 15 days, no single party or alliance of parties has come forward to form the government," the Governor's statement read.
Following BJP's declaration, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that the party will install a Shiv Sena Chief Minister in the state. "Uddhav Thackeray told Sena MLAs that the party will install its CM in Maharashtra," Raut said.
After Sunday's development, Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik said that there is no formal proposal from the Shiv Sena regarding the government formation. "However, our national President will clear the party's stand at our party legislators' meeting scheduled in Mumbai on Tuesday," he told reporters.
Seat divide in 2019 Assembly elections
The results of Maharashtra Assembly results declared on October 24 revealed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had won 105 of the total 286 seats. Shiv Sena had secured 56, Congress 44 and the Nationalist Congress Party 54.
The Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi won 3 seats, the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Prahar Janshakti Party and Samajwadi Party won 2 seats each. As many as 13 independents were declared victorious across the state.
Sawbhimani Pakasha, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Peasants and Workers Party of India, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Krantikari Shetkari Party, Jan Surajya Shakti and Communist Party of India (Marxist) won one seat each.
Rotational Chief Minister
After the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance got a clear majority, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had insisted on a 50:50 model of holding the Chief Minister's post for two-and-a-half years. However, the BJP was not ready to discuss the sharing of CM's seat and Shiv Sena refused to come to any other agreement with the party.
Proving the majority
Besides the 105 members, the BJP had earlier claimed the support of several Independents and smaller parties to form the government, though the exact figures are not clear and it is not known whether these would be sufficient to achieve the simple majority of 145.
"It (the BJP) is the single-largest party... If it is so confident, it should stake claim to form the government and submit a list of 145 supporting MLAs. If they can't do it, they should publicly announce it and prepare to sit in Opposition," Raut had earlier said.
"By not initiating any steps to form the government, the BJP is now allowing other options and deliberately pushing the state to President's Rule. This is an insult to the people of Maharashtra. The times have changed. After you are out of power, the politics of 'Saam, Daam, Dand and Bhed' will not work," he had attacked the BJP.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena had huddled all its MLAs at a resort in Mumbai suburb's Madh Island. The party wanted to stop any attempts by the BJP to poach the MLAs.