'Governor to step in if no party stakes claim by Nov 7'

Ramdas Athawale, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. (DH Photo)

Union minister and RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will begin consultations with political parties on government formation in the state if nobody stakes claim by November 7.

Athawale told PTI that the governor informed a delegation led by him on Saturday evening that he was waiting for a party/parties to stake claim to form the next state government.

The term of the existing 13th state Assembly ends on November 9.

In the recent polls to 288-member state Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats and its ally Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats.

However, the two parties are locked in a bitter tussle over sharing of the chief minister's post and are yet to hold talks over government formation.

"The governor will wait till November 7 to see if anybody stakes claim, following which he will begin consultations with political parties in the state for government formation," Athawale said.

The Union Minister called on the governor along with other allies of the BJP on Saturday, requesting him to invite the Amit Shah-led party to form government in the state.

He was accompanied by state ministers Avinash Mahatekar of the RPI(A), Sadabhau Khot of the Swabhimani Paksha and Mahadeo Jankar of the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha.

Athawale and other alliance partners told the governor that the BJP, with its own 105 seats and the backing of some Independents and smaller parties, has the support of total 120 legislators.

The BJP and the Sena are locked in a battle over sharing of power in the next government.

The bone of contention is the Sena's demand for the post of chief minister on a rotational basis with the BJP and adhering to a "50:50 formula" for allocating ministries.

Both these demands were rejected by the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 Assembly elections though with a weakened tally as compared to 2014.

The BJP won 105 seats in the recent polls, the Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats, while the opposition NCP and Congress got 54 and 44 seats, respectively.

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