BJP leader says President’s rule in Maharashtra if no govt in place by Nov 7

Sudhir Mungantiwar Mungantiwar said there should be no doubt about Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ “leadership and acceptance” across party lines | Twitter/File

Amidst the ongoing tussle between BJP and Shiv Sena over Chief Minister’s post, Maharashtra may now head for President’s rule if the new government in the state is not in place by November 7, Finance Minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said on Friday (November 1).

His comments came even as there appeared no headway in government formation eight days after results of the October 21 Assembly elections. The tenure of the existing Legislative Assembly ends on November 8.

He told a TV channel that the delay in talks between BJP and Sena was due to the Diwali festival, adding parleys will start in a day or two. “People of Maharashtra have given mandate not to any party but to the Mahayuti (alliance comprising BJP, Shiv Sena and other parties),” he said.

“Out alliance is stronger than Fevicol or Ambuja Cement,” he said. Mungantiwar expressed confidence that the formation of a new government will take place soon. “A new government will have to be in place within the stipulated time, or else the President will have to intervene. Presidents rule will be imposed if the government formation doesn’t happen in the given time,” Mungantiwar said.

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He said the main hurdle in government formation was the Sena’s demand for chief ministers post for 2.5 years. Asked if the BJP would accept the demand, Mungantiwar said, “We have already named Devendra Fadnavis.”

Admitting that there was a deadlock, he said, “We at the state level will sit together to find a way to resolve the deadlock. If necessary, the central leadership of BJP will intervene.” BJP will take the lead in resolving the deadlock over formation of the new government, he said.

Reacting to Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s comments on government formation, Mungantiwar said, “just like the BJP, the Sena also wants the government to be formed at the earliest. We fought the election as an alliance. The issue here is not of Sena or BJP, but the people of Maharashtra.”

The BJP has been insisting that Fadnavis will remain the chief minister for the next five years. The BJP won 105 assembly seats, while the Sena bagged 56 in 288-member house.

(With inputs from agencies)