Amid claims by the BJP leaders in Maharashtra that that the party will soon form government in in the state, be it BJP state chief Chandrakant Patil or Union Minister Nitin Gadkari saying that anything can happen at the last moment in cricket or politics, NCP said on Saturday that BJP is bewildered  by the trepidation that politicians who joined the party ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls will defect therefore they are making such statements.

NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik made the remarks a day after Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said his party will soon form the government and claimed it can count on the support of 119 MLAs, including Independents, in the 288-member Assembly.

Malik asked why the BJP did not form a government earlier if it had the numbers as claimed by its Maharashtra unit chief.

The Shiv Sena too attacked the BJP for such remarks. In its mouthpiece “Saamana” the editorial piece accuses BJP of “horse-trading under the guise of President’s Rule” by taking the time to garner numbers. The editorial hit out at statements by BJP leaders and its former ally for not forming the government in the state and saying no to the governor because it did not have the requisite numbers.

The article said, “Yesterday Amit Shah said the government that will rule the state will have a figure of 145 (the majority mark in the 288-member Assembly). This is constitutionally correct. However, those who are now saying the BJP will come have already met the Governor and stated we do not have a majority.”

The former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also slammed by NCP leader Malik over his recent remark that a non-BJP government will not last for more than six months, saying the latter spoke, like the general of a defeated army, to boost the morale of his party men.

“The former chief minister is trying to boost the morale of his party workers like the general of a defeated army. We think they have been defeated and they will have to accept this. They are not ready to accept defeat, but one takes time,” Malik said.

He further said, “None can form government (in Maharashtra) without the backing of at least 145 MLAs. They (the BJP) do not have their own MLAs, it brought leaders from other parties into its fold.”

He was referring to slew of leaders from the Congress and NCP joining the BJP ahead of the October 21 Assembly election.

“They (the BJP) now have a trepidation that these MLAs (who joined BJP from other parties) will defect. Hence, they (BJP leaders) are making these statements to keep the flock together,” Malik said.

Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Friday commented on the current political situation in Maharashtra and equated politics with cricket, saying “anything” could happen in both these fields as those who appear to be losing the match might actually win the game.

Malik’s repartee was that people “clean bowled” the BJP.

Now the picture is clear in Maharashtra that the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress will form the government in the state and modalities are being finalised, “the three parties want to form a stable government which will be development-oriented” said NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday.

He said, “A Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government will be formed and it will complete five-year term he said as he ruled out the possibility of mid-term polls in Maharashtra which is currently under Presidents rule.”

The BJP and Shiv Sena, which fought the October 21 state elections in alliance, secured a comfortable majority by winning 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Assembly. But they did not form the government because the Shiv Sena did not give up on its demand of 50:50 partnership in the government formation and the post of chief minister on rotational basis for 2.5 years for both the parties. The BJP on the other hand did not cede to the Sena’s demand of sharing the chief minister”s post, leading to falling apart of the nearly three-decade-old alliance.

The Congress and NCP won 44 and 54 seats, respectively, in the last month’s polls.

The Sena reached out to the Congress-NCP combine for government formation after its demand for sharing the chief minister’s post and equal distribution of portfolios was rejected by the BJP, its pre-poll ally.
President’s rule was imposed in the state on Tuesday after Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari sent a report to the Centre, stating that formation of a stable government was impossible in the current situation despite all his efforts.

At a meeting on Thursday, the appointed leaders of the Congress, the NCP and the Sena prepared a draft CMP. Now it will be forwarded for approval to top leaders of the three parties.

The three parties will meet the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at 3 pm today to discuss about “governance failure” on the issue of farmers and rising unemployment, according to reports.