Hours after Devendra Fadnavis resigned as Maharashtra Chief Minister amid a continuing impasse over power-sharing talks with ally Shiv Sena, the Congress said that the Governor should now invite the single largest party to form a government.
After Mr Fadnavis handed over his resignation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Congress leaders met NCP chief Sharad Pawar at his residence in Mumbai. Speaking to the media later, state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat said the governor is going to play a crucial role now, and he must go by precedents.
Former Chief Ministers and Congress leaders Sushilkumar Shinde, Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan were among those who met Mr Pawar. Union minister Ramdas Athawale also met Mr Pawar in Mumbai to seek his advice on ending the deadlock over government formation in Maharashtra.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Pawar suggested the BJP and Shiv Sena respect the "clear cut majority" people have given them.
Mr Fadnavis, who is to continue as caretaker CM, for the time being, blamed the BJP ally Sena for the situation, while Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray mentioned that his party had been promised Chief Minister's post for half the term, which the BJP is now denying.
The BJP and Shiv Sena are locked in a tussle over the issue of the chief minister's post, resulting in a stalemate despite the Assembly poll results 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. (AIR)