Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) refused to form the government in Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has invited the Shiv Sena -- the second largest party -- to indicate its willingness and ability to form the government in the state.

Koshyari has asked the leader of elected members of Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde to indicate the willingness and ability of his party to form the government in Maharashtra.

"The Sena will have to inform the governor about its stand by Monday (November 11) evening 7.30 pm," a Raj Bhavan official said.

This comes minutes after the BJP held a press conference to announce that it will not form the government in Maharashtra since it did not have the required numbers. The party also accused the Shiv Sena of "disrespecting" the popular mandate secured by the BJP and the Sena in recent assembly polls.

"We will not form government in the state," said Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil after meeting Governor Koshyari.

"The mandate of the people of Maharashtra was for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. Sena has, however, disrespected the mandate, hence we have decided to not stake claim to form government. We have informed our decision to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari," he added.

With the saffron party backing off from the race, the onus to form government is on Sena. The party had earlier indicated that it might rope in the Congress and the NCP to prop up a government with Sanjay Raut saying that the party would install its chief minister at any cost.

"Maharashtra will have Sena's chief minister at any cost. Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday informed the party MLAs that Sena will have its chief minister," Raut said after the BJP announced its decision.

Raut earlier had also claimed that the Shiv Sena has the support of 170 MLAs.

Meanwhile, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik has said that the Shiv Sena would have to break away from the BJP-led NDA before the NCP can think of lending support to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party for government formation.

"Shiv Sena needs to first exit from the NDA as it has one cabinet post (in the Narendra Modi government). Unless it leaves the NDA, we will wait and watch the developments," NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik told reporters here.

Malik further said that his party had not received any proposal from the Sena. "If the Sena comes with a proposal, there will be some conditions from our side on which Sena will have to agree on. Sena leader Sanjay Raut has been stressing on the party having the CM's post. If they need support of Congress and NCP, they will have to make their stand clear on sharing power (with BJP) in Delhi," Malik said.

In the recently concluded Assembly elections in Maharashtra, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the state by winning 105 seats while the Shiv Sena won 56 seats. The two parties jointly secured a majority in the state but since the announcement of the results, they are locked in a tussle over the chief minister's post and other ministerial berths. 

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma