Following Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s report that none of the parties invited could form the government, Maharashtra was placed under President’s Rule on Tuesday. The BJP, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) couldn’t produce enough numbers even 20 days after the election results.
The NCP, which received an invite on Monday evening after the Shiv Sena failed to get a three-day extension, had reportedly requested the Governor for more time, 11 hours before the 8.30pm deadline.
The Sena has approached the Supreme Court against the Governor’s refusal to give it more time.
The Sena has been attempting to make to a deal with its arch rivals NCP and Congress, but has failed so far.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had reportedly given Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray a call on Monday evening.
“From 10 am to 7:30 pm on Monday, our leaders including Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel were waiting for (Congress’s) letter,” said NCP’s Ajit Pawar, Sharad Pawar’s nephew.
Experts say that though Congress MLAs in Maharashtra are in favour of forming a government with the Sena, the party leadership, especially Sonia Gandhi, is not comfortable about tying up with an ideologically different party.
While the NCP is relying on the Congress for a decision, the Sena on Monday pulled out its only minister in the PM Modi’s government. The Congress, however, views this divorce as temporary.
NCP is just two seats short of Sena. The BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena 56. Together, they were comfortably ahead of the majority mark of 145. The Sena wanted the Chief Minister’s position to be shared on a rotation basis, and this was rejected by the BJP.
This is third time that Maharashtra has come under the central rule in its 59 years of existence as a state.
In February 1980, the Indira Gandhi government dismissed the Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) government headed by Sharad Pawar.
Pawar had formed the PDF after toppling the Vasantdada Patil-led Congress government in which he was a minister, 1978.
He held the Chief Minister’s post for two years before being dismissed by Indira after she returned to power at the Centre in the 1980 Lok Sabha polls.
After 34 years, the state again came under the President’s rule after Prithviraj Chavan resigned as Chief Minister when its ally NCP withdrew support to the Congress-led government on September 28, 2014