Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday asked leader of the elected members of the single largest party, BJP, and its legislative leader Devendra Fadnavis to indicate willingness and ability to form government.
Elections to the Assembly were held on October 21 and results declared on October 24, in which the BJP had emerged as the single largest party with 105 seats and Mr. Fadnavis was elected its legislative party chief on October 31.
Mr. Fadnavis will have to prove majority in the House of 288 members by 8.00 P.M. on November 11. Despite the passage of 15 days, no single party or alliance of parties has come forward to form government, the Governor office said.
The BJP now has the option to prove they have the numbers or decline the invite. It can also request time to show the support of 145 MLAs either in writing or on the floor of the House. “In a scenario BJP conveys its response in a negative, the Governor will have to explore other options. The moment Mr. Fadnavis says yes, he would effectively take oath as Chief Minister along with an essential Council of Ministers. A Speaker will be appointed and the House called where the first business would be that of a confidence motion,” said former Maharashtra advocate general Shrihari Aney.
Sources said the Governor had begun consultations with Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni on the process early on Saturday after the five-year term of the Assembly had ended. Earlier, the law and judiciary submitted a report to the Governor on the “order of preference” set out by the Sarkaria Commission Report, which gives four options to the Governor as ratified by the Supreme Court: inviting a pre-poll alliance of parties 2) inviting the single largest party which stakes claim to form government 3) inviting a post-poll alliance of parties, with all the partners in the coalition joining the government or 4) inviting a post-poll alliances of parties, with some becoming part of the government and some supporting from outside, as per the report.
Sources close to Mr. Fadnavis said he was expecting the invitation and would respond at the earliest. “We had feelers he would invite us today or on Sunday, having explored step one — inviting a pre-poll alliance of parties. We were expecting him to move to step two soon: that is an invitation to us,” said a BJP leader.
“The invitation will be decided at the BJP core committee meeting on Sunday. There is no option other than the BJP. We are ready for talks with Shiv Sena anytime. The mandate is for the grand alliance. Talks will take place when we sit across the table. Receiving invitation from the Governor is part of constitutional process. Shiv Sena should respect the mandate,” he said.