Mumbai: Hours after Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister amid continuing impasse over power-sharing talks with ally Shiv Sena, the Congress said the governor should now invite the single largest party to form a government.
After Fadnavis handed over his resignation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Congress leaders met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence here.
Speaking to the media later, state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said the governor is going to play a crucial role now, and he must go by precedents.
He was tight-lipped about what the Congress and NCP's strategy was going to be amid the political uncertainty. "We haven't prepared any strategy. It is upto the Governor to follow the laid-down procedures including that of first inviting the single largest party to form government," he said.
The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 Maharashtra polls.
"There is an unprecedented political situation in the state. We thought Fadnavis will stake claim, but he resigned. We listened to Fadnavis and (Sena chief) Uddhav Thackeray (who held separate press conferences) with curiosity and realised that the situation is not good," Thorat said.
Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said it was clear that the BJP cannot form the next government, and so all eyes were on the governor.
"How long Fadnavis can stay as caretaker CM and what steps the governor takes to provide relief and assistance to farmers (who are hit by unseasonal rain), it remains to be seen," he said.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are locked in a tussle over the chief minister's post, despite the Assembly poll results on October 24 giving them a combined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House.