Mumbai: Maharashtra minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said his party would not stake claim on Thursday to form government in the state.
Ahead of the BJP delegation's meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday, Mungantiwar told reporters here that the BJP was not in favour of forming a minority government in the state.
He also dubbed as "unfair" the talks that Shiv Sena MLAs may cross sides, amid the stalemate over government formation in the state. "We will not stake claim to form government today. We want to have a detailed discussion with the governor on various legal intricacies related to running the current government," Mungantiwar said.
The BJP was of the opinion that people's mandate should be respected, the state finance minister said. "The BJP is against forming a minority government in Maharashtra," he said.
Asked about Shiv Sena's insistence on sharing the chief minister's post, Mungantiwar said, "Fadnavis is not just a BJP leader, but he should be seen as Sena's chief minister as well. There should be no doubt about his leadership and acceptance across the party lines."
"Even the Shiv Sena has said in various ways that it wants to stay with the BJP and form government. There are some hurdles, but they will be addressed," he added.
Mungantiwar asserted that the deadlock over government formation was not from the BJP's side. He also dismissed talks that the Shiv Sena MLAs may switch sides. "The Shiv Sena is well aware of its MLAs and their loyalty. It is unfair on part of the MLAs to talk about split in the party. It is an insult of an elected representative to talk about splitting. It is unfair," he said.
Mungantiwar also dismissed rumours that Union minister Nitin Gadkari may be appointed as the state's chief minister. "Nitinji will never come to Maharashtra. It is not even his distant dream to come to Maharashtra as chief minister," he said.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are locked in a tussle over the issue of the chief minister's post, resulting in a stalemate in government formation despite results of the October 24 Assembly polls giving the alliance a combined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House.
In the polls, the BJP won 105 seats, Shiv Sena-56, NCP-54 and the Congress won 44 seats. Sources from both parties on Wednesday said back channel talks are on between the two old but often feuding Hindutva allies and a breakthrough is expected.