The BJP is weighing options as Shiv Sena rebels consolidate their position in a bid to topple the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, with former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis expected to meet the BJP top brass here to finalise the next course of action.
Sources said the BJP is expecting Sena rebels, who include 39 MLAs and have been joined by at least 10 independents in a Guwahati hotel, to make the first move by approaching Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Independent MLA Ravi Rana claimed the independents are supporting the BJP and that the next chief minister would be from the BJP-led alliance Though the BJP sources expressed confidence that the Uddhav Thackeray government is on its last legs, the party is treading cautiously to avoid any wrong move like the one in 2019 which had caused it embarrassment when Fadnavis formed a short lived government in alliance with the NCP faction headed by Ajit Pawar without ensuring adequate support of MLAs.
Fadnavis had to resign in two days as NCP supremo Sharad Pawar rallied his party MLAs to deny him the numbers. The political crisis in Maharashtra started when Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, who has claimed the support of more than three dozen party MLAs, raised a banner of revolt against the Shiv Sena leadership.
The revolt in the Shiv Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, has pushed the three-party ruling coalition, which also consists of the NCP and the Congress, into a deep crisis.
In a relief to rebel Shiv Sena lawmakers, the Supreme Court on Monday kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings before the Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly till July 11 and sought responses to pleas by rebel MLAs questioning the legality of notices seeking their disqualification.
The top court, however, refused to pass any interim order on the plea of the Maharashtra government that there should not be any floor test in the Assembly and said they can always approach it in case of an illegality.(With PTI inputs)