BJP govt in Maharashtra only after Diwali

BJP's star may have risen on Maharashtra's political firmament but the party-led government will be formed only after the festival of lights, BJP sources said on Tuesday even as its leaders were busy finalising the names of those who will be in the new ministry.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 21, 2014, 15:28 PM IST

Mumbai: BJP's star may have risen on Maharashtra's political firmament but the party-led government will be formed only after the festival of lights, BJP sources said on Tuesday even as its leaders were busy finalising the names of those who will be in the new ministry.

"There is little chance of any developments taking place before Diwali. All action will happen only afterwards," they said.

"The BJP legislature party leader would be elected only after Diwali. Central observer Rajnath Singh will be in Mumbai after Diwali and the new leader, who will be sworn in as chief minister, will be elected in his presence," they said.

Singh, who along with BJP general secretary J P Nadda has been appointed observer for the selection of the legislature party leader, was expected to arrive here last night.

However, he told reporters in Delhi this morning that the visit has been postponed. "I am not going today. I think I will visit Mumbai after Deepawali," he said.

Even as suspense continued over the composition of the government in Maharashtra, BJP general secretary incharge of Maharashtra Rajiv Pratap Rudy had yesterday said being the single largest party it will stake claim to form government even before cobbling together a majority.

"There is no need to have full majority to approach the Governor to stake claim to form government. It is not necessary that we have 145 out of 288 members in Assembly to stake claim. What is needed is that we ought to be the single largest party which we are," he said.

BJP has 122 MLAs and pre-poll ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha one.

Sharad Pawar's NCP with 41 MLAs has already offered "outside support" to BJP in government formation, while there was no clarity on whether the party will reunite with former ally Shiv Sena to form a coalition government.

Sources said the party is using the interim period to shortlist and finalise candidates who would be in the new ministry.

So far, the focus is only on having BJP legislators in the ministry, sources said, indicating that former ally Sena may not find place in the new dispensation.

Though there were reports about back channel talks between BJP and Shiv Sena over power-sharing in the new dispensation, there was no official word from either side.

With NCP offering "unconditional" outside support, the Shiv Sena is no longer in a position to dictate terms, they said.

Meanwhile, BJP is making attempts to enlist support of independents and small parties. "We have so far secured support of seven independents and Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi which has three members. The lone MNS MLA may also back us," they said.