With the current term of the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly ending on 8 November and the NDA allies – Shiv Sena and BJP – still struggling to see eye-to-eye on government formation, the state might face a constitutional crisis if the next dispensation is not sworn-in on or before 9 November.
Declaring that the state might head for President's Rule if the new government is not in place by 8 November, state finance minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar on Friday said, "A new government will have to be in place within the stipulated time, or else the President will have to intervene. President's Rule will be imposed if the government formation doesn't happen in the given time."
His comments came following a period of lull and no headway in government formation eight days after results of the Assembly elections were declared on 21 October.
According to a legislature secretariat official, if no party comes forward to stake claim to form the government, then the spotlight will be on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who will have to invite the leader of the single-largest party. If a government still isn't formed, then Koshyari will have to call on the leader of the second-largest party.
Speaking to The Times of India, the official said, "As per the legal conventions, Koshyari will have to explore all possibilities. If he fails, then he will have no option but to recommend President's Rule."
However, exuding confidence and faith in the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, Mungantiwar said that the delay in talks between the NDA allies was due to the Diwali festival, adding parleys will start in a day or two.
"People of Maharashtra have given mandate not to any party but to the Mahayuti. Our alliance is strong," he said.
Amid the ongoing tussle with its alliance partner over power sharing, Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, but refused to talk about government formation in the state.
Aditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena after meeting Maharashtra Governor: We requested Governor to provide assistance to farmers and fishermen who suffered damages due to recent rains. He has assured us that he himself will talk to the Centre. pic.twitter.com/Wdyj3oJIir
— ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2019
After concluding the meeting with the governor at the Raj Bhavan, Thackeray told reporters, "I will not talk about government formation. Uddhav ji will say whatever needs to be said on that... his word is final."
While on the one hand, the Shiv Sena is unwilling to soften its stand on 50:50 power-sharing formula and accept the offer for the deputy chief minister’s post, the BJP, on the other hand, is adamant to cede the chief minister's post, even for half a term.
Dismissing the Sena's demands, the saffron party insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for the next five years.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Nov 07, 2019 08:25:55 IST