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Is Maharashtra Staring at President's Rule? As BJP Fails to Form Govt, Here's What May Happen Next in State

News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

News18 Creative by Mir Suhail.

If no alliance or party expresses confidence of forming the government, the governor will have to send a report to the Centre recommending President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced that it would not form government in Maharashtra in view of the ally Shiv Sena's stand to not join them in the efforts.

There has been no headway in government formation even a fortnight after Assembly poll results were announced on October 24. Caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis drove to Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai on Friday and submitted his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

A day later, Koshyari asked the BJP, the single largest party in the new Assembly, to "indicate the willingness and ability" to form government in the state. However, the BJP on Sunday announced that it would not be able to form the government right now and wished "good luck" to the Sena if it wanted to form the government with the help of opposition Congress and NCP.

What Next?

"The governor will have the option of delaying President's rule but till then no new oaths can be taken. Also, it does not mean that re-election will be held. There are a lot many steps that the governor can take," said Sanjay Kumar, a senior political analyst.

Until the new government is formed, the newly elected MLAs cannot be administered oath. The government, as per rules, advises the governor on the schedule for oath taking. The Vidhan Sabha Speaker cannot be elected either as the new Speaker would be from among the newly elected members.

The governor is expected to follow the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission, which later got endorsement of the Supreme Court. Under this set of guidelines, Governor Koshiyari has the following options:

He may invite the single-largest party or coalition to form government. In this case, BJP is the single largest party and BJP-Shiv Sena are the largest coalition. Koshiyari may ask the party or coalition if it is confident of proving majority on the floor of the House.

If the single-largest party declines the offer, the next big party or coalition may be invited to form government.

The order of invitation can only be in this sequence: pre-poll alliance, single-largest party, post-poll alliance with all constituents giving in writing that they would join the government, and lastly, a post-poll alliance with constituents telling which of them are part of the government and which of them are extending outside support to it.

If no alliance or party expresses confidence of forming the government, the governor will have to send a report to the Centre recommending President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

Under Article 352 of the Constitution, President’s Rule can only be imposed in a state where constitutional machinery has failed. Non-formation of an elected government is interpreted as failure of constitutional machinery in a state.​


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