As the clock ticked towards the expiry of the present Maharashtra assembly’s tenure on Friday, state Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni met Governor B.S. Koshyari to discuss legal and constitutional issues, official sources said.
Kumbhakoni reached the Raj Bhavan shortly after a Bharatiya Janata Party delegation led by its state President Chandrakant Patil and ministers Girish Mahajan, Sudhir Mungantiwar and Ashish Shelar met the Governor to seek his advice on the same lines.
“The Advocate General is likely to advise the Governor on the legal and constitutional options besides precedents available before him to enable exercise his powers and explore all the possibilities for forming a stable government in the state as per Constitutional provisions,” a top official told IANS, requesting anonymity.
Even 15 days after the election results were announced, Maharashtra has lapsed into an unprecedented political crisis in which the two main allies – BJP-Shiv Sena, who secured a majority, are unwilling to form the government.
Both allies are engaged in a furious tug-of-war over the post of Chief Minister and other power-sharing aspects which have virtually pushed the state to the threshold of President’s Rule.
Ranked amongst the most politically stable states in the country, in its entire 59-year history, Maharashtra has witnessed President’s Rule only twice – for 112 days in February-June, 1980 and later for 33 days in September-October 2014.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday challenged the BJP to stake its claim as the single largest party and submit a list of 145 MLAs to the Governor, or quit the race and announce publicly that it has no majority so other parties explore viable government formation options.
On the other hand, the BJP said that the political crisis would be resolved soon and incumbent Devendra Fadnavis will be the chief Minister again with both Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and state Minister Mungantiwar both separately reiterating this.