Shiv Sena has no option but to join hands with BJP to form government in Maharashtra under Devendra Fadnavis' leadership, their ally and RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale said on Wednesday, soon after Sharad Pawar asserted that his NCP will work as a "responsible opposition".
The BJP and the Shiv Sena are locked in a tussle over the chief minister's post, resulting in a stalemate in government formation in the state.
Pawar's remarks came this morning after a meeting with senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who has met the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief earlier too.
"There is no option left with the Shiv Sena now than to form government with the BJP under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis," the Republican Party of India (Athawale) leader said.
The impasse remains despite results of the October 24 assembly polls giving the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance a combined seat strength of 161, way past the 145 majority mark in the 288-member House.
The people of Maharashtra have given the mandate to the BJP and the Shiv Sena to form government in alliance, Athawale said, wondering how the Sena can form government with 56 legislators.
"If the Shiv Sena does not come with us then Fadnavis should move forward and stake claim to form government in the state," he told reporters here.
The NCP chief, after his meeting with Raut, asked the BJP and the Shiv Sena to form government in Maharashtra soon, and said his party will work as a "responsible opposition".
On Tuesday, Athawale had said the Sena should not be "adamant" on its demand for the chief minister's post as it rightly belongs to the BJP.
He said he is hopeful that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari would be able to resolve the situation as he enjoys respect across party lines.
The bone of contention is the Sena's demand for the post of chief minister on rotational basis with the BJP and a "50:50 formula" for allocating ministries.
The BJP won 105 seats in the polls followed by ally Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (44) in Maharsahtra.
Athawale had claimed that the BJP is ready for 50:50 allocation of cabinet portfolios and also to give some important ministries to Sena.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)