A day after Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari asked BJP to "indicate willingness and ability" to form government in the state, the BJP conveyed to the Governor that the party was not in a condition to form government at this point.
The decision was taken at a core committee meet of the party. BJP's state chief, Chandrakant Patil, while addressing the media after party leaders' meeting with the Governor, said that the mandate during the Assembly elections was for the Mahayuti.
"But since Shiv Sena cannot join to form the government, we have conveyed to the Governor that we won't be able to form the government in Maharashtra," Patil said.
"Now if the Shiv Sena wants to form a government along with Congress and NCP, we wish them the best," Patil added.
Earlier in the day, The BJP's core committee, comprising caretaker chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, state unit head Chandrakant Patil, and senior leaders Girish Mahajan, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Ashish Shelar and Pankaja Munde, had met at 11 am on November 10 to decide the future course of action, Mungantiwar told reporters.
"The BJP will hold another round of meeting at 4 pm today following which we will communicate our decision to the governor and also make it public," he had said.
The BJP won 105 seats in the October 21 elections, while the majority mark in the 288-member Assembly is 145. Its ally Shiv Sena won 56 seats, but the two parties are bickering over the chief minister's post.
The term of the 13th state Assembly ended on Saturday. On Friday, after Fadnavis resigned as chief minister and was asked by the governor to continue as caretaker CM, the two allies had a bitter showdown over what was decided mutually about the top post during their negotiations before the Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year.
While Fadnavis claimed the BJP never promised to share the chief minister's post with its ally, Shiv Sena head Uddhav Thackeray maintained that assurance of equal sharing of all posts was given, and the BJP must not portray him as a liar.
The Shiv Sena has shifted most of its 56 MLAs to a hotel in suburban Malad, apparently to guard them against 'poaching' attempts.
Besides, all 44 Congress MLAs from Maharashtra are at a resort in Jaipur in the party-ruled Rajasthan amid similar fears.
Both the Congress and its ally NCP on Saturday said the governor should have taken the decision to ask the BJP to indicate its willingness to form government much earlier.
The NCP also said it would vote against the BJP if there is a floor test.Further, it could think of an "alternative" if the Shiv Sena too voted against the BJP, NCP's chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.