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BJP says it can’t form Maharashtra govt, guv asks Shiv Sena if it can | India News


MUMBAI: In a swift response to the Maharashtra governor’s request to express his “willingness and ability” to form the government, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis informed him on Sunday that the BJP—the single largest party in the new assembly with 105 MLAs—did not have the numbers to prove a majority, putting the ball back in the Shiv Sena’s court.
Hours later, governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari called upon the Sena—the second largest bloc with 56 winning candidates—to apprise him if it was in a position to form a government. “The Sena will have to inform the governor about its stand by 7.30pm on Monday (November 11),” a Raj Bhavan official said. The two developments, back-to-back, now put the onus on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to cobble together the numbers needed to reach the half-way mark in the assembly.
The options before him are narrow. Congress and NCP with 44 and 54 MLAs have said they do not have the mandate and are ready to sit in the opposition. And Thackeray’s insistence on a Sena CM is a pre-condition that has so far prevented negotiations with BJP from making headway. But the NCP has conditionally agreed to back Sena, provided it withdraws its ministers from the NDA government at the Centre and agrees to a “common” programme for the state. A section of Congress MLAs, too, are keen to back a Sena-NCP front, though this is yet to find acceptance from the top leadership.
Addressing a press meet after meeting the governor, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said the mandate in the poll was for the ‘Mahayuti’ (the pre-poll alliance of BJP and Sena). “However, the Sena has not agreed to government formation. It is the Sena that has insulted the people’s mandate. We have decided not to form the government,” he said. Patil wished the Sena “good luck” in its efforts to form a government with the Congress and NCP.

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