The Bharatiya Janata Party's core committee in Maharashtra will meet on Sunday, November 10, to discuss the course of action on Governor BS Koshyari's invite to form the government. The allies - BJP and Shiv Sena - have not come to an understanding regarding power-sharing even after 15 days since the declaration of the election results.
Hours before the tenure of the 13th Legislative Assembly was to expire on Saturday, the Governor 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.
Reacting to the development, State BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the Governor has initiated the process as per the Constitutional requirements.
"We shall discuss the proposal at the party's state core committee meeting on Sunday. Thereafter, state President Chandrakant Patil shall take whatever further measures are required in this regard," Bhandari told IANS.
Besides the 105 members, the BJP has claimed the support of several Independents and smaller parties, though the exact figures are not clear and it is not known whether these would be sufficient to achieve the simple majority of 145 in the 288-member Assembly.
Experts said that in case the BJP is not able to muster sufficient numbers, the Governor would invite the second largest party -- Shiv Sena -- followed by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress to explore the possibility of forming the next government in Maharashtra.
Shiv Sena MLAs in resort
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has huddled all its MLAs at a resort in Mumbai suburb's Madh Island. The party wants to stop any attempts by the BJP to poach the MLAs.
Even the NCP has convened a meeting of all its newly-elected legislators on Tuesday in Mumbai, which will be addressed by party president Sharad Pawar, said party spokesperson Nawab Malik.
"We welcome the Governor's move, though it is belated... We also request the Governor to satisfy whether the BJP can prove its majority, and ensure that there is no 'horse-trading' of legislators," Malik said.
He also announced that the NCP will vote against the BJP on the floor test and thereafter plan its further political strategies.
The Sena and Congress have herded their legislators to safe locations in Mumbai and Rajasthan, respectively, as a precautionary measure to prevent possible poaching.
(With agency inputs.)