As the ongoing tussle for power continues in Maharashtra, Finance Minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Friday that the state may head for President’s rule if the new government is not in place by November 7 as the tenure of the existing Legislative Assembly ends on November 8.
Both Shiv Sena and BJP continuing with their war-of-words, Mungantiwar’s comments came even as there appeared no headway in government formation eight days after results of the October 21 Assembly elections.
Mungantiwar told a TV channel that “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,” he added.
He further said, “People of Maharashtra have given mandate not to any party but to the Mahayuti (alliance comprising BJP, Shiv Sena and other parties),” he said and that the main hurdle in government formation was the Sena’s demand for Chief Minister’s post for 2.5 years.
It seems to be an answer to Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s apparent warning, earlier today, to “Big Brother” BJP, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that if the party decides, it will get the required numbers to form a stable government in the state.
“People have given the mandate to form a government on the basis of 50-50 formula that was reached in front of people of Maharashtra. They want Chief Minister from Shiv Sena,” the Rajya Sabha MP asserted.
The comments come a day after Raut’s meeting with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday. The Sena MP claimed that he met Pawar without sharing any detail of the meeting.
Amid standoff with ally BJP over sharing the top post, Shiv Sena has stood firm on its demand for 50-50 formula for government formation, saying that the people of Maharashtra want Chief Minister from Sena.
Mungantiwar today, while admitting that there was a deadlock said, “We, at the state level will sit together to find a way to resolve the deadlock. If necessary, the central leadership of BJP will intervene.”
We fought the election as an alliance. The issue here is not of Sena or BJP, but the people of Maharashtra.”
In the recent state polls, the BJP won 105 seats, while the Sena got 56 in the 288-member assembly. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is demanding the post of Chief Minister for 2.5 years and 50:50 division of portfolios.
Both these demands have been rejected by the BJP which has insisted that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will continue to hold the post for the next five years.