Maharashtra government formation: BJP shoring up numbers as stand-off with Sena continues

BJP has reached out to MLAs who had switched sides.

November 04, 2019 12:07 am | Updated November 28, 2021 11:17 am IST - NEW DELHI

 Kopargaon NCP MLA Ashutosh Kale (left) greets party leader Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar. Photo: Twitter/@AshutoshAKale

Kopargaon NCP MLA Ashutosh Kale (left) greets party leader Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar. Photo: Twitter/@AshutoshAKale

The war of nerves between the BJP and the Shiv Sena continues over government formation in Maharashtra.

While both Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and sources in the Shiv Sena have said clarity might emerge next week, the BJP is also reaching out to shore up numbers and bolster numerical support.

According to sources in the Maharashtra BJP, among those being contacted are at least 12 newly elected legislators, who had, till weeks before the election, been with the Sangh Parivar, but moved to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after being denied ticket.

“For example, Kiran Lahmate, elected from Akole, is a firm RSS person; the same with Ashutosh Kale from Kopargaon and Sunil Shelke of Maval. There are others, too. This is something the NCP leadership is also aware of. No MLA just elected wants President’s Rule and face the public in another six months. These members are also a sword of Damocles hanging over the NCP ,” said the source.


The BJP has also secured the support of at least four Independents who had contested the election and won after being denied ticket. BJP sources added that in the war of nerves, the party is holding strong and expects the deadlock to be broken next week.

Mr. Thackeray in fact announced in Aurangabad that people would be hearing about government formation soon. His remarks came even as his party member, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said the Sena had the support of 175 MLAs.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar is expected in New Delhi on Monday to speak to Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi on prospects of government formation, and whether support to the Shiv Sena was viable. Mr. Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar had earlier said that the mandate was for the NCP to sit in the opposition.

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