Maharashtra impasse: Fadnavis likely to tender resignation on Friday, Uddhav lodges Sena MLAs in hotel

The Governor, meanwhile, summoned the advocate general to seek legal opinions on delayed government formation.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis (File Photo | PTI)
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis (File Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is likely to tender his resignation on Friday, sources have said.

The 13th assembly was formed on November 10, 2014. Hence, November 09, 2019 is the last day of CM Fadnavis in office. However, sources have said that as a technical aspect of the things, he will tender his resignation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Friday.

A day after the BJP and the Shiv Sena were apparently on the verge of reconciliation, the BJP on Thursday didn’t stake claim of government formation after meeting governor indicating that the party is in no mood to form a minority government. 

The Shiv Sena remained steadfast on its stand of an equal share of power and challenged the BJP to accept its lack of numbers saying that it has the “options” to form the government if the BJP is unable to. 

The Governor, meanwhile, summoned the advocate general to seek legal opinions on delayed government formation.

The tenure of the current assembly in Maharashtra ends on November 9. Hence, when the BJP leaders called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday, it was expected that they would stake claim for government formation. However, state BJP president Chandrakant Patil told the reporters that they “appraised” the governor of the delay in government formation. 

“We appraised the governor that Maharashtra people have given a mandate for MahaYuti (Grand alliance). The BJP, Shiv Sena, RPI (A), Ryat Kranti, Rashtriya Samaj Party and Shiv Sangram were part of the pre-poll alliance. The Mahauti also was part of state governmrnt for last five years between 2014 and 2019. However, we didn’t stake claim for government formation," Patil told reporters after their meeting with governor.

“Legalities on delay in government formation too were discussed and we will speak to our leaders based on that,” Patil added.

He also said that the party’s top leadership will now decide the strategy ahead.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray put the ball of government formation back to BJP’s court while addressing his party MLAs at his residence Matoshree.

“I don’t want to break the alliance. I just want that whatever was decided be acted upon. Whatever we are doing is not to show the BJP down. But, the (CM’s) statement on promises made before Lok Sabha election was wrong. I’m open for talk even today if the BJP leadership is ready to act on its promise,” Thackeray told party MLAs at the meeting.

He, however, didn’t elaborate on what was decided between the parties before the Lok Sabha election. The party MLAs were then asked to go to Hotel Rangsharada in Bandra.

“The threat of horse-trading is imminent and hence we thought that it is better that all the MLAs stay together,” said Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu.

“Uddhavji has told us to wait and watch,” said one of the Shiv Sena MLAs as they reached Rangsharada.

Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut later said that there was no change in his party’s stand on government formation in Maharashtra and reiterated the demand for sharing the chief minister's post.

“If the people’s mandate was for the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance), why the BJP was not staking claim to form government,” he asked and in an veiled attack on the BJP, he said those responsible for political instability were causing harm to the state.

“There is no change in the Shiv Sena's stand on government formation; all our MLAs are supporting (party chief) Uddhav Thackeray,” he added while addressing a press conference.

He also asserted that the chief minister of the state will be from the “Shiv Sena” and said that the party has options and it shall execute those options if BJP couldn’t form the government.

Congress leader Vijay Vadettiwar, meanwhile, alleged that his party MLAs are being contacted by certain people and the possibility of them being coerced can’t be denied.

State NCP chief Jayant Patil too said that some “MLAs are being lured” but, added that if an MLA changes side, all parties will come together and ensure that the party from which the MLA has defected retains the seat in by-election. “I don’t feel any of the MLAs would now dare to cross over,” he added.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, meanwhile, ruled out the possibility of him returning to the state and expressed confidence that the BJP will form government in Maharashtra under Devendra Fadnavis.

Another Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said that Gadkari is in touch with Sena’s Subhash Desai and that the back channels between the BJP and the Shiv Sena are open.

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