Maharashtra governor invites BJP to 'indicate willingness' to form govt

Maharashtra governor invites BJP to to form govt
Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Following the 15-day-long impasse, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Saturday evening asked the BJP, the single largest party in the state, to "indicate willingness and ability" to form government.

Sources close to acting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is leader of state BJP's legislature wing, confirmed that Fadnavis had received the letter from the governor.

The BJP won 105 seats in the October 21 elections, while the majority mark in the 288-member Assembly is 145.

Its ally Shiv Sena has won 56 seats, but the two parties are bickering over chief minister's post.

According to Raj Bhavan statement, the governor asked Fadnavis to "indicate the willingness and ability of his party to form the government".

As no party had come forward to form the government, the governor decided to explore the possibility of formation of government on Saturday, the Raj Bhavan statement said.

Government formation in Maharashtra is likely to be delayed due to the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut hinted on Saturday.

The Supreme Court on Saturday cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

In a tweet, Raut said, "Pehle Mandir Phir Sarkar!! Ayodhya mein Mandir Maharashtra mein Sarkar... Jai ShriRam."

When contacted, Raut told PTI, "Next two days, it is only Ayodhya. Nothing on government."

The term of the 13th Maharashtra Assembly ends on Saturday.

CM Devendra Fadnavis resigned on Friday and was appointed to the post in caretaker capacity.

NCP president Sharad Pawar maintained the mandate was for the BJP and Sena to form a stable government.

"Our responsibility is to be constructive opposition," We are watching as to when the government is formed," Pawar said on Saturday.

State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat is in Delhi for the CWC meeting.