Maharashtra officially came under President’s rule on Tuesday. President Ram Nath Kovind signed off on the recommendation of Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari following the Union Cabinet recommendation for the same. Koshyari's recommendation came after no party or coalition was able to stake the claim or provide the numbers to form the government in the state even after 15 days of assembly election results being declared.
What's Next For Maharashtra
The President’s rule can be imposed for a minimum period of six months and its quantum can be extended up to three years. While Maharashtra has been placed under the President’s rule for six months, it does not mean that a new government could or would not be formed earlier. All political parties still have the option to stake the claim to form the government. Any political party can approach the governor with the proposal to form the government. They, however, will need to satisfy Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari that they have the required support to form government.
Will There Be Another Election?
Speaking technically, the procedure for holding re-election has already started with the President's rule coming into effect as the previous election did not yield a majority government. President's rule will be in place until then for whatever time it takes to prepare for another election. However, for all practical purposes, the re-election date depends on the will of the Governor. Election Commission would proceed as per its normal course to hold new election and announce the dates whenever it is ready.
What Are Possible Combinations For Maharashtra Govt Formation?
There are many possible combinations in Maharashtra i.e. Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP, BJP+, BJP-Shiv Sena, BJP-NCP and BJP-Congress. While the last two seem almost impossible, the first, second and even the third are likely.
Before taking a look at these three combinations, here's a reminder of Maharashtra assembly election results.
Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP: Top leaders from Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are continuing consultations in a bid to resolve the impasse over government formation in the state. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray told the media that his party was working on coming up with a "common minimum programme" for governing Maharashtra with the NCP and the Congress. It also seems more likely that NCP and Congress will join any such government instead of supporting it from outside.
BJP+: As the biggest party BJP was the first to be given a chance to form the government. However, after saying it did not have the numbers to form the government, it is now in 'wait and watch' mode. With President's rule in effect, it may get the time and chance to attract some rebels from the other parties as well as some independents.
BJP-Shiv Sena: While the BJP and Shiv Sena currently seem to be the most bitter rivals, things may change quickly in politics. Uddhav Thackeray has refused to rule out forming government with BJP support.