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Hung assembly in Maharashtra, BJP set to form government, looks for allies

In a major shift of power, the BJP is all set to form the government in the state after 15 years of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party rule.

Priyanka Rathi |

Updated:October 19, 2014, 8:25 PM IST
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Hung assembly in Maharashtra, BJP set to form government, looks for allies
In a major shift of power, the BJP is all set to form the government in the state after 15 years of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party rule.

New Delhi: It's a hung assembly in Maharashtra with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging as the single largest party but well short of the halfway mark in the 288-member House. BJP's reliance on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surely paid rich dividends.

In a major shift of power, the BJP is all set to form the government in the state after 15 years of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party rule. But things did not go the BJP way as the party will need 22 more seats to cross the halfway mark of 145 to form the government and is now looking at all possible scenarios. The party has bagged 122 seats and its ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha has got one seat.

BJP leaders have reached out to their former ally Shiv Sena, which won 63 seats. Sena leaders, too, have softened their stand towards the BJP after the acerbic attack on it druring the election campaign.

As the BJP is yet to take a decision regarding the post-poll alliance, the NCP has offered unconditional support to the former. Despite his party's big loss senior NCP leader Praful Patel said, "The NCP will give outside support to BJP in Maharashtra."

The move by the NCP can also be seen as an attempt to remain in power and have a say in the political circle. The NCP is closely watching the BJP's move and is awaiting its decision.

Senior NCP leader Majid Memon said, "In the best interest of the people of Maharashtra, the NCP has offered outside support to the BJP. The BJP cannot form a government on its own. We have suffered because of Congress."

The BJP, however, kept all the cards close to its chest and did not comment on the NCP proposal. The party had earlier ruled out any possibility of post-poll alliance with the NCP and is likely to go with the Sena. Modi and other BJP leaders referred to the NCP as "Naturally Corrupt Party".

Even though a bitter war of words broke between the Sena and BJP during the election campaign, the two seem to be coming together once again with the former saying that it will support the party which will serve Maharashtra's interest. BJP sources said that there were discussions on rotational chief minister as well in the party meeting.

Following the footsteps of BJP, the Sena also refused to comment on the post-poll alliance. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, "I haven't given any proposal to anyone, but we are ready to consider if anyone approaches us. I am sitting quiet on proposal."

The BJP and Sena broke their 25-year-old alliance following differences over the seat-sharing for the Maharashtra polls.

As far as the Congress is concerned, it met almost the same fate as Lok Sabha elections and managed to win only 42 seats to come a distant third.

After the NCP broke ties with the Congress, the party contested all 288 seats and was banking heavily on former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's clean image. Even the tall claims of development by the Congress failed to convert it into votes and the allegations of corruption came to haunt the party once again.

The NCP was not far behind the Congress as it got 41 seats.

Meanwhile, Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena came out as the biggest loser as the party managed to bag only one seat.

Possible scenarios:

BJP-Sena alliance: The BJP is more likely to go with its former ally Sena to form a government at the state. If the two come together, they will have 186 members in the House, which is way beyond the magical number of 145.

BJP-NCP alliance: The BJP wants 22 more seats to form the government and the NCP has offered unconditional outside support to the party. If BJP decides to go with the NCP, then it will have 164 members.

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