BJP may govern Maharashtra with NCP support - BJP celebration pictures from Rons Bantwal

Pics: Rons Bantwal
Kemmannu News Network, 19-10-2014 12:20:17

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Mumbai: The BJP could rule Maharashtra after finishing as the single largest group in a hung house Sunday after the NCP offered unexpected "outside support" to it, leaving the runner up Shiv Sena high and dry.

There was no official response from the Bharatiya Janata Party to the NCP decision but it reduced the BJP’s need to patch up with its estranged and long-time ally Shiv Sena, which it had dumped before the Oct 15 polls.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel, a confidant of party strongman Sharad Pawar, said Maharashtra needed a stable government and so the NCP was ready to prop up a BJP government.

The dramatic announcement came just before the BJP leadership began a meeting in New Delhi to analyse its spectacular showing in Maharashtra and Haryana and amid speculation of renewed bonhomie between the BJP and the Sena.

Election officials said the BJP was set to win 119 seats in the 288-member assembly, far short of the 145 needed to secure a legislative majority.

With the NCP’s expected 42 seats -- officials continued to count the millions of votes cast -- coming its way, the BJP can cross the threshold.

The Shiv Sena, which could end up with 61 seats, had earlier said that it was ready to make up with the BJP, a sentiment shared by some of its leaders, including L.K. Advani who called for a BJP-Sena rapprochement.

BJP Should Contact Us, Will Accept Deputy Chief Minister: Sena Sources

Mumbai As the BJP’s top leaders meet in Delhi to decide how to form the government in Maharashtra, its former ally, the Shiv Sena, is waiting for a nudge.

If contacted with a proposal, said sources in the Sena, the party is willing to talk. It’s also likely to accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister, and is open to negotiations over other key portfolios.

The flexibility of the Sena comes after the BJP received a direct and public offer from Sharad Pawar’s NCP ,which said it would back a BJP government with external support. 

The BJP is likely to end the day with 122 seats in Maharashtra, its best-ever performance in the state, but about 22 short of being able to form the government. The Sena placed second with 62 seats.

Amit Shah, BJP president, has not rejected Mr Pawar’s offer yet.

Sources in the BJP say the Sena is "a natural fit" as a partner. The parties had a 25-year alliance till September. Mr Pawar, on the other hand, has been an ally of the BJP’s arch rival, the Congress, though that collaboration also ended unhappily ahead of the state election. 

"The Shiv Sena is not our opponent... they will always be our friends," said Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the BJP in Maharashtra, to NDTV.

Sena spokespersons appearing on NDTV said party chief Uddhav Thackeray will decide on his next step "in Maharashtra’s best interest."

It was Mr Thackeray’s refusal to accord the BJP the status of senior partner that drove their break-up. After its spectacular result in May’s national election, the BJP was determined to recalibrate the alliance in Maharashtra.

Mr Thackeray, after the split, went on the offensive with an  assortment of acerbic remarks about his former partner, but did not pull the Sena’s lone minister in the union government, signaling that the break-up was not irreversible.


"I hope the BJP and Shiv Sena will come together," said Advani, one of those leaders who was not happy with the BJP decision to dump its ally of 25 long years after a row over seat sharing ahead of elections.

The Congress, which along with the NCP had ruled Maharashtra for 15 years until their alliance collapsed before this election, is expected to finish third in the state with 44 seats.

The BJP, which until now had played second fiddle to the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra assembly elections, credited the showing in the state to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popular appeal.

"People of Maharashtra have shown faith in Modiji’s agenda of good governance. We are thankful to the people," BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said.
"The second largest party (Sena) has just half of our strength."

Earlier, Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis told the media that while no discussions had taken place with the Sena, "if the need arises, we expect our friends to support us".

Shiv Sena leader Anil Desai said the acrimony between his party and the BJP was history.

Not anticipating a bonhomie between the BJP and NCP and thinking the BJP will seek his party’s aid, Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said: "Whatever happens, the chief minister will be from our party."

Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena cut a sorry figure in the state. It might end up with just three seats in the Maharashta legislature while independents and smaller parties could have 19 members.

Fadnavis, however, admitted that the BJP was "deeply hurt" over the manner the Sena targeted Modi and the BJP during the election campaign.

The NCP blamed the Congress for the impending rout.

"It all happened because of Chavan," NCP’s Nawab Malik said, referring to former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan of the Congress.

"He had no understanding of the issues in Maharashtra, he did not take the right decisions, and he didn’t act when he had to."

Chavan accepted responsibility for the Congress rout.

The NCP-Congress alliance came apart Sep 25, the same day the BJP dumped the Sena, triggering speculation that the NCP and BJP appeared to be in a secret deal.

As the BJP celebrated in Mumbai and New Delhi bursting crackers and distributing sweets, Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre resigned


Maharashtra BJP President Devendra Phadnvis is seen addressing a Press conference at BJP office Nariman Point.

Shivsena candidate Sunil shinde Ajay Chowdhari celebration at Shiva Sena Bhavan at Dadar-West, Mumbai Pics by Rons Bantwal

ELECTION-2014 Tulu - Kannadiga Candidates Losses MLA

NCP and inc office and also seen Malabar hill winning candidate mangal prabhat lodha.

MPCC President Manikrao Thakare is seen addressing a Press Conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Nariman Point on Sunday 19 Oct 14

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