'Alternative can be thought of if BJP fails floor test'

Nawab Malik

The formation of an alternative government can be given a thought in case the BJP fails to prove its numbers on the floor of the Maharashtra Assembly, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said on Tuesday.

NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik made the remarks even as the Shiv Sena on Tuesday cancelled its meeting with the BJP on government formation.

The meeting was called off hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis denied that the Shiv Sena was assured the post of Chief Minister for 2.6 years as part of a power sharing formula.

The BJP emerged as the single largest party in the recently-concluded Maharashtra Assembly polls, winning 105 seats, much below the 145 halfway mark in the 288-member House. The Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress secured 56, 54 and 44 seats, respectively.

"The Governor (Bhagat Singh Koshyari) may invite Devendra ji to take oath in the next few days. It is a question whether the Shiv Sena ministers take oath or not (with Fadnavis). And he (Fadnavis) will have to prove numbers on the floor of the House in 14-15 days," Malik said.

"Formation of an alternative government can be thought of in case the Shiv Sena triggers collapse of the government on the floor of the House...We will think about what can be done in that case," the city NCP chief added.

Malik's statement came days after the party chief Sharad Pawar ruled out any possibility of teaming up with the Sena.

NCP ally Congress though officially denied any truck with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, a former chief minister had said such an option can be explored to deny the BJP another shot at power.

Interestingly, the Sharad Pawar-led party had announced its outside support to the BJP immediately after the 2014 assembly elections when the BJP had won 122 seats as against 63 seats won by the Sena, which had contested separately.

Sena later joined the government.

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