12 days on, Maharashtra awaits new govt as BJP, Shiv Sena in no mood to blink; alternatives remain a far cry
Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Twelve days after the election results were declared, Maharashtra continues to wait for a new government as the deadlock between the BJP and Shiv Sena over power sharing seems to be far from over, with both the allies refusing to budge.
Multiple high-profile meetings in New Delhi and Mumbai on Monday, including one between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, failed to give any indication of an end to the impasse.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, after meeting BJP chief Amit Shah, said there is need to form a government in the state at the earliest.
However, all eyes were on the Pawar-Gandhi meeting in the national capital amid talks of realignment of political forces and intense speculation over possibility of a non-BJP government, perhaps headed by the Shiv Sena, in Maharashtra.
However, Pawar did not give any sign of his party changing its "we will sit in opposition" stand in Maharashtra, which is waiting for a new government. Asked if the NCP is considering supporting the Shiv Sena in government formation, Pawar said no one from the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has contacted him over the issue.
Meanwhile, the BJP seems in no mood to give in to Shiv Sena's demandfor sharing the chief minister's post for 2.5 years each. The saffron party has said that while Sena had put forward this demand during the pre-poll seat-sharing discussions, but they had not agreed to it.
According to a Times of India report, while the BJP is not taking Sena’s threats to explore alternative formulations lightly, but it is equally clear that there could be no concessions on the demands put forward by its ally.
The BJP remains firm on Fadnavis continuing as chief minister for next five years and is willing to consider a Sena deputy CM. In the October 21 polls to the 288-member Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats followed by the Shiv Sena 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44. The majority mark is 145.
However, at the same time, it is also being reported in media that the NCP is willing to join a Sena-led government, with the Congress supporting from outside and its nominee getting the Speaker's post. But this can only happen if the Sena terminates its alliance with the BJP.
Shiv Sena leader had on Sunday claimed that his party had the support of 170 MLAs and claimed that Maharashtra will have a Sena chief minister. Raut even met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Monday, during which, he said, they discussed the political situation in the state.
The term of the Maharashtra assembly ends on November 8 and unless a new government is formed before that, President's Rule can be declared in the state.
Delayed govt not new for Maharashtra
In 1999 and 2004, government formation was delayed for over two weeks when the then victorious allies -- Congress and NCP -- could not agree on power-sharing arrangement quickly.
In 1999, the Congress formed the new government with Sharad Pawar's newly-formed Nationalist Congress Party after much haggling over CM's post and portfolios. Congress' Vilasrao Deshmukh became the chief minister.
The same drama played out in 2004 when the NCP got more seats and demanded chief minister's post. The Congress retained the top post but gave away two additional portfolios to the NCP.
In 2009, there was again delay when the Congress demanded that the two extra portfolios it had given up in 2004 be returned.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta