After opting out of Maha govt race, BJP in 'wait & watch' mode

MUMBAI: The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has opted out of race for government formation in Maharashtra, has adopted a ‘wait and watch’ policy in the state which saw hectic activity in camps of major non-BJP parties on Monday.

A day after the BJP said it was not in a position to form government due to lack of numbers, the Shiv Sena claimed the NCP and Congress have agreed “in-principle” to support its government, but failed to get letters of support from the political rivals before the deadline set by the Governor.

Leaders of the Congress and the Sharad Pawar-led NCP held separate meetings in Mumbai and New Delhi to discuss the political impasse in the state which assembly poll results were announced on October 24. A meeting of the state BJP’s core committee was held to discuss the current political situation.

Speaking to reporters late Monday evening after the meeting, BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “We have decided to adopt a wait and watch policy on the current political situation. “The BJP core committee has been closely watching the political developments here in Maharashtra. The meeting of the core committee is over and we will take the right decision,” he said without elaborating.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday night asked the Shiv Sena to “indicate the willingness and ability” of the party to stake claim, hours after its pre-poll partner and longtime ally BJP declined to form the government. The Sena, the second largest party in the 288-member House with 56 MLAs after the BJP’s 105 members, had time till 7.30 pm to stake claim to form government.

However, it failed to submit letters of support from the political rivals before the deadline set by the Governor. The NCP has 54 MLAs, while the Congress has 44. Earlier in the day, Arvind Sawant, the lone Sena minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, announced his resignation, a pre-condition set by the NCP for supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led outfit. PTI