The feud over government formation in Maharashtra reached the center on Monday when Shiv Sena’s only minister in the Modi-led government resigned.
Shiv Sena asked Arvind Swant to resign from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. He was Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. It was a precondition set by NCP chief Sharad Pawar to start negotiation for government formation in Maharashtra.
Important developments in Maharashtra politics
- Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyariinvited Shiv Sena to form government after BJP declined the stake claim to power. Shiv Sena has to show numbers by Monday evening.
- Udbhav Thackeray is tipped to the CM with an NCP-deputy according to a formula reached over the weekend.
- Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was reluctant to support Shiv Sena but Congress Working Committee will meet to discuss the situation under pressure from Maharashtra leaders.
- Saamna, the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena, indicated towards the possibility of Sena forming a government with the help of 54 NCP and 44 Cong MLAs.
- Shiv Sena moved its legislators to a resort in Mud Island after accepting the invite for government formation. Sena fears poaching of its MLAs by BJP.
BJP and Shiv Sena, long term allies for more than 25 years, fought as a coalition and won 105 and 56 seats respectively in the 288-member assembly. Together they are well ahead of majority mark that is 145. But Shiv Sena is insisting on a 50:50 formula of CM’s post for half term and an equal share in ministries. The formula is unacceptable to BJP.