With BJP and Shiv Sena at loggerheads over sharing of power in the new government, the impasse over the formation of new government in Maharashtra continued on Sunday. The BJP and Shiv Sena, which contested the October 21 state elections together, have been locked in a bitter tussle over sharing of the chief minister's post and are yet to start formal talks over government formation.
There was also speculation that the Shiv Sena may join hands with the NCP and form government with outside support from the Congress. Some state Congress leaders have said the party should back the Sena to keep the BJP out of power. In the recent polls to 288-member state Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena got 56, NCP won 54 and Congress got 44 seats.
Stage Ready For Swearing-In
While the formation of government is not in sight so far, the stage of swearing-in of the next chief minister is almost ready. The prepartions of the oath taking ceremony is in full swing in Mumbai's Vidhan Bhawan. According to the contractor doing the work he has been asked to complete the work by November 5. The tenure of the previous assembly is ending on November 9th. If there is no government before then, the state may see a spell of President's Rule.
Talks Only On CM Post: Sanjay Raut
Meanwhile, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party will talk to the BJP only on the issue of the chief minister's post. He also claimed to have support of at least 170 MLAs.
"The impasse continues. There is no discussion on government formation as yet. If talks happen, it will only be on the issue of the chief minister's post," Raut said.
The Rajya Sabha member further that Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray was in Aurangabad on Sunday to take stock of the crop losses in that district due to unseasonal rains last month.
Shiv Sena's Dig At BJP
In his weekly column in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', Raut likened the impasse over government formation to a "chariot stuck in the mud of arrogance". He dared the BJP to impose President's rule in the state, saying such a step would be the party's "biggest defeat of the century".
Raut's remarks came against the backdrop of the BJP's stand that it will not share the chief minister's post, and minister Sudhir Mungantiwar's comments that the state may head for President's rule if the new government is not in place by November 7.