Maharashtra standstill: Ball in Governor's court now

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari (Twitter Photo/ Bhagat Singh Koshyari)

Exactly into a fortnight of the political crisis in Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari commenced legal consultations on Thursday. 

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni went to Raj Bhavan to brief the Governor on the options available to him.

Going by precedents and conventions, the Governor may call the single largest party - BJP in this case - to explore possibilities of forming the government.

The stalemate between the two ruling principal MahaYuti partners BJP and Shiv Sena continued over the chair of Chief Minister.

While the BJP maintained that incumbent Devendra Fadnavis will remain the CM,  Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray remained adamant on 50-50 power-sharing ratio and sharing of CM's chair for two-and-a-half-years each.

The two saffron allies seemed to have reached a point of no return pushing the state towards a brief spell of President's rule.

The results of the 14th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections came on 24 August.

The tenure of 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly ends on 9 November.

In the last 15 days, all the political parties met the Governor and apprised them of the political situation but none of them staked claim to form the government.

The NCP-Congress MahaAghadi combine remained firm on its stand to sit in Opposition benches and not to support Shiv Sena.

The Advocate General entered Raj Bhavan minutes after a BJP delegation comprising state BJP President and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan and Education Minister Ashish Shelar called on Koshyari.

Patil said that they told the Governor that while the mandate is for MahaYuti comprising BJP,  Shiv Sena, Republican Party of India (Athawale),  Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Shiv Sangram and RayatKranti Sangathana to form a government it was taking time. "It is taking more than normal time...we discussed the current situation,  we discussed the legal aspects," said Patil.

Before meeting the Governor, Mungantiwar said that BJP was against forming a minority government and want to take Shiv Sena along.

Earlier in the day,  Thackeray chaired a meeting of Sena legislators and top leaders to decide the future course of action. 

Later,  Uddhav confidante and spokesperson Sanjay Raut accused the BJP of creating a situation of President's rule in the state and questioned as to why it did not stake claim to form a government.

He reiterated that the CM would be from Shiv Sena. Asked about numbers,  he said: "Let's not discuss it here,  you will come to know on the floor of the House."

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