Maharashtra Guv invites BJP to form govt; Fadnavis has until Monday to prove majority

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Devendra Fadnavis . File Photo

Mumbai, November 9: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari invited the BJP headed by caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to form the government, Raj Bhavan sources said this evening. Fadnavis has been asked to prove his majority by Monday.

The BJP is the single largest party in the new assembly.
Earlier today Governor Koshiyari consulted Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni on legal formalities before taking his decision.

The governor’s invitation to Fadnavis came even as the major opposition parties, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party apart from the BJP’s estranged ally Shiv Sena were busy gauging the
after-effects of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case.

Maharashtra Congress party chief Balasaheb Thorat had rushed to New Delhi for consultations with party leaders while Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar reiterated his earlier stand that the mandate was for the BJP and the Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra.

“We are awaiting the opportunity to sit in the opposition since this is the mandate given to us by the people,” Pawar told reporters here on Saturday.

The NCP leader felt that the Supreme Court’s verdict will have little impact on Maharashtra’s politics. “People will forget these things in a day or two,” he said.

Pawar however felt that all sections of society should welcome the apex court’s verdict.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict addresses serious concerns in the country,” Pawar
said.
The Shiv Sena leadership too was busy considering the repercussions of the Supreme Court’s verdict. “Pehle Mandir, Phir Sarkar,” Shiv Sena’s Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut said on Twitter. He told reporters that political discussions have taken a back seat.

“Only Ayodhya for the next two days. Nothing on the government,” Raut has been quoted as
saying.

The Shiv Sena, which had adopted a hardline stand on the Ram Janambhoomi issue much before the BJP, has welcomed the verdict to build a Ram temple at Ayodhya.

“I along with other Shiv Sainiks had gone to Ayodhya last year on November 24 and performed Aarti on the banks of the Sarayu river. I had carried the soil from Shivneri, the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, with a belief that it has some magic. Now the issue has been resolved within a year. I will now again go to Ayodhya on November 24,” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray told reporters.

Will vote against BJP

As Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked the BJP on Saturday to indicate its willingness to form government, the NCP said the governor’s decision has come late, and it would vote against the BJP if there is a floor test.

NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik also said that his party can think of an “alternative” if the Shiv Sena too voted against the BJP.

Following the 15-day-long impasse, the governor on Saturday evening asked the BJP to “indicate willingness and ability” to form government.

“The Governor has initiated the process late. He should have done it earlier,” Malik said in his reaction.

The governor should ensure that the BJP has the numbers to prove its majority, and also see that there is no horse-trading if the BJP decides to take a floor test, the NCP spokesperson said.

“The NCP will vote against the BJP in case it comes to floor test. The NCP will think of an alternative if the Shiv Sena votes against the BJP on the floor of the House and the government collapses,” the Mumbai NCP chief added.

However, earlier in the day, NCP president Sharad Pawar had said there was no discussion within his party on extending support to the Shiv Sena.

Malik said the NCP’s 54 MLAs will meet here on November 12 in Pawar’s presence.

Maharashtra Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant said that Koshyari should have invited the BJP much earlier.

“At last, after a prolonged delay, the process has started. Honourable Governor should have done it far earlier. Already a lot of time has lapsed,” Sawant said. With PTI