MUMBAI: The core committee of the BJP is slated to meet on Sunday to take a call on Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's invite to acting Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the leader of the single largest party, to form the government in the state and prove majority by Monday.
According to reports, the core group meeting is scheduled to begin around 12 noon in Mumbai. It will be attended by top state BJP leaders including Chandrakant Patil, Devendra Fadnavis, Sudhir Mungatiwar and many others.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray has also called a meeting of his party leaders to discuss the prevailing political situation and the next course of action concerning government formation in the state.
The Governor invited Fadnavis barely hours before the tenure of the 13th state Assembly ended on Saturday midnight.
"The Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari today (Saturday) asked the leader of elected members of the single largest party, the BJP, Devendra Fadnavis to indicate the willingness and ability of his party to form the government in Maharashtra," an official statement said.
"Elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly were held on October 21 and the results were declared on October 24. However, despite the passage of 15 days, no single party or alliance of parties has come forward to form the government.
"The Governor has therefore decided to explore the possibility of formation of Government and today asked the leader of the elected members of the single largest party, that is BJP, to convey its willingness and ability to form the government," the official statement said.
Fadnavis will now have to prove the majority on the floor of the house till Monday, failing which the Governor may ask Shiv Sena, the second-largest party in the state with 56 seats the same.
In case, the Shiv Sena also fails to prove the majority in the house, the Governor will approach the third-largest party and so on. If, however, no party manages to prove a majority to form the government, the state will then go to President's Rule.
Reacting to the Governor's invitation, Fadnavis said that the party will soon take a decision and inform the Raj Bhawan.
Sources, however, said that the BJP will most likely decline the Governor's offer and convey to him its inability to form the government in the state.
The sources added that senior party leaders will meet the BJP Core Committee on Sunday and will make a decision on the government formation in Maharashtra.
Since the poll results announced two weeks ago, the BJP and the Sena, which contested the election as allies under Mahayuti and emerged as a clear winner with 161 seats together, have been locked in a bitter tussle over the Chief Minister's post.
Even after a fortnight, both BJP and Shiv Sena have failed to reach a power-sharing formula. While Sena is adamant on its demand of rotational Chief Minister, BJP, on the other hand, has made it clear that the government in Maharashtra will be formed under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis.
In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, BJP, despite emerging as the single-largest party in the state, could not get a majority. The BJP won 105 seats, Sena Shiv 56, Sharad Pawar's NCP 54 and Congress 44. The majority mark to form the government in the state is 145.