As the BJP is leading in 123 out of 288 seats in Maharashtra and needs 22 more MLAs to form the next government, back channel talks have started to secure the remaining numbers. BJP President Amit Shah has made it categorical that his party is going to form the next government in Maharashtra and everything will be clear by this evening. He also confirmed that the Chief Minister will be from BJP only.
Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has extended unconditional outside support to the BJP, saying they have received the people’s mandate to rule. That put the Shiv Sena on defensive. Sena would be forced to cooperate with the BJP or keep quiet and become the main opposition party. “Our stand has been vindicated now. We did the right job by going alone in Maharashtra polls,” said Amit Shah.
The Shiv Sena leaders have been very soft towards the BJP in the last two days and its mouthpiece Saamana has also stopped being critical. It is believed that Shiv Sena may come on board and join hands with the BJP by swallowing its lost ego and pride. BJP has also shown soft corner towards the Shiv Sena, but ruled out a coalition government with the NCP.
In the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, BJP has won 122 seats, while Shiv Sena won 63 seats. Congress won 42 seats, leaving 41 to the NCP. Raj Thackeray’s MNS was almost wiped out and managed to win just one seat. They had won 13 seats in 2009. Hyderabad-based Islamic party AIMIM managed to win 2 seats in Maharashtra for the first time. BJP’s alliance partner Rashtriya Samaj Paksha won one seat.