Governor invites Shiv Sena to stake claim to form govt in Maharashtra

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray arrives at Hotel Retreat in Madh Malad West to meet party MLAs

Fadnavis has till Monday to prove his majority, failing which the Governor may ask Shiv Sena, the second-largest party in the state to form the government.

The governor had on Saturday invited the BJP, the single largest party, to stake claim to form government.

In the October 21 polls, the BJP won 105 seats while ally Sena won 56 seats.

The Shiv Sena's claim of 50-50 government formula, asking for the chief minister's post of two and half years has not been accepted by the BJP.

A day after Maharashtra governor BS Koshayari invited Devendra Fadnavis to indicate his willingness to form the next government in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party's core committee is expected to meet at 12 PM on Sunday to decide the future course of action. The NCP and Congress won 54 and 44 seats, respectively.

Announcing the BJP's decision, its Maharashtra president Chandrakant Patil accused the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which is adamant on its demand for a rotational chief ministership, of "disrespecting" the popular mandate. "Shiv Sena needs to first exit from the NDA as it has one cabinet post (in the Narendra Modi government). The Shiv Sena will declare its strategy if no one else is able to form the government".

Addressing the media, Mr Fadnavis delivered his strongest statement against the Shiv Sena since 2014, when he took over as Chief Minister.

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The Shiv Sena on Sunday said that the party's chief, Uddhav Thackeray, will decide on the next Maharashtra chief minister and that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar will play an "important role" in the process.

Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, November 8, 2019.

Chavan said he was in favour of forming a stable government in Maharashtra. "I don't think MLAs of any party would defect".

There were contradictory opinions in Mumbai - while former city President Sanjay Nirupam reiterated that the Congress should keep off the Sena at all costs, another former city chief Milind M Deora suggested exploring a Congress-NCP government with Sena support.

Without naming Fadnavis, Raut, in a fresh attack on the BJP leader amid the ongoing war of words between the saffron allies, said, "When ways of threatening and seeking political support don't work, it is time to accept that Hitler is dead and the looming clouds of slavery have disappeared".

Taking the reins in his hands, Koshyari has made a decision to explore the possibility of government formation and, hence, asked the BJP - the single-largest party with 105 elected legislators - to do the needful.

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