Impasse Over Maharashtra Government Formation Continues Despite Flurry Of Meetings
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met BJP President Amit Shah, NCP’s Sharad Pawar met Congress’ Sonia Gandhi and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut met the governor on Monday, but there was no clarity yet on government formation.
It’s been 11 days since the Maharashtra election results were declared on Oct. 24.
After his meeting with Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar ruled out any possibility of his return as Maharashtra chief minister.
On whether the NCP is considering supporting the Shiv Sena, Pawar said, "No one from the Shiv Sena has contacted me on this. The mandate for us is to sit in the opposition. We do not have enough numbers to be in this race."
Fadnavis, who met Shah in Delhi to seek central relief for farmers hit by unseasonal rains, said the new Maharashtra government will be formed soon, but did not mention if the Shiv Sena will be a part of the new dispensation.
The Shiv Sena is not creating any hurdles in Maharashtra government formation, Raut said after meeting the governor as the political stalemate saw no sign of resolution.
Whoever enjoys the majority should be allowed to form the government, he said.
"We informed the governor that the Shiv Sena is not responsible for the current political situation in the state over formation of the new government," he said.
"The governor informed us that there is still some time for government formation in Maharashtra. He said any political party (which commands majority) can come forward and stake claim (to form the government)," Raut said. "We agree that the governor is functioning within the framework of the Constitution.”
The meeting came at a time when the BJP and the Shiv Sena are engaged in a bitter tug-of-war over the latter's demand for equal distribution of portfolios and sharing the chief minister's post. Fadnavis has rejected the Shiv Sena's demand for sharing the chief minister's post for 2.5 years each.
In the Oct. 21 elections to the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats followed by the Shiv Sena 56, the NCP 54 and the Congress 44.