Fadnavis-Thackeray standoff reaches Governor, BJP discusses legal options

A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to update Raj Bhavan about the party’s attempts to form the government after last month’s state elections. The discussion, which comes days before the assembly’s term ends, soon veered to the legal options if the impasse does not end by midnight tomorrow.

Minutes before a team of BJP leaders led by the party’s state chief Chandrakant Patil walked into the meeting with Governor Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, alliance partner Shiv Sena had delivered another harsh message to the BJP: that it shouldn’t treat its demand for the chief minister’s chair as a negotiating tactic. The Shiv Sena has also ordered its lawmakers into a Bandra hotel, a move seen as a precaution over concerns that there might be an attempt to poach the MLAs.

BJP’s Chandrakant Patil said a BJP delegation went to brief the Governor about the “ongoing political situation” in Maharashtra “since the government formation has been delayed more than normal”.

Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who had yesterday promised some “good news soon” that had triggered a fresh round of barbs from the Sena, was also present at the meeting.

Also read: Shiv Sena is now a willing lamb to the slaughter | Opinion

Sudhir Mungantiwar did not speak with reporters on Thursday. Chandrakant Patil, who is also the state revenue minister, made a brief statement and did not take any questions.

“We had a detailed meeting with him (Governor). We also discussed the various legal options in front of us due to the delay,” he said.

The deadline for government formation is November 9, when the term of the current legislative assembly expires. Former parliamentary affairs secretary Afzal Amanullah had earlier told HT that if no government is formed before the end of the tenure of the current assembly, then the governor will have to impose President’s Rule.