A deficit of 23-25 seats to make the all-important 145 mark has dampened the spirits of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp, but it has definitely made senior leaders work even harder to form a government on their own.
With a strong leader like Amit Shah at the helm in New Delhi, the state unit has set its sights on the next move.
For they know that Shah, along with his mentor PM Narendra Modi, will ensure a stable government is put in place, sooner or later. All possibilities, including the extension of President’s rule in the state or poaching a group of MLAs from other parties is also being considered.A quick-fire decision by Amit Shah to select a CM candidate on Monday itself has sent out signals to the Shiv Sena and all other parties.
He left no scope for state leaders to make any mistake by addressing a press conference.
The move is expected to work in the BJP’s favour as high-decibel state leaders will not unnecessarily anger possible allies (read the Shiv Sena).
Shah took it upon himself to defuse the tension between the ex-allies, but maintained a tough stand that no further compromise would be made to sacrifice the local leadership.
The BJP’s parliamentary board was sensitive in choosing Rajnath Singh, home minister and former national president, who had made sincere efforts to woo the Sena before Shah became the party chief.
Other than ensuring the party gets the support it needs, Singh will have another task at hand.
He is expected to coordinate with senior state leaders, who are fighting for the CM’s post ever since the party sniffed a victory.
He will fathom the sentiment among the party’s elected members on Monday before conveying the name(s) of the CM candidate.
“I am going to Maharashtra tomorrow to decide on the BJP legislature’s party leader,” Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
Addressing the media in New Delhi, Shah ruled out any alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party, which is ready to offer unconditional support to the BJP.
“The NCP did not talk of becoming our partners in the government.
It is just willing to support us unconditionally. That’s all.”
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray told mediapersons he was not approached by the BJP for support, and his party would not approach it with any proposal.
But he said he would consider a proposal (from BJP) if it is sent to him.”
Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis expected the BJP’s friends to support his party.
In the meantime, seeing their party coming to the power, CM aspirants within the party have started intensely lobbying for the top job.
The leaders who are close the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have urged the BJP’s ideological guardian to ensure their entry to the sixth floor of Mantralaya.
Some leaders are in touch with legislators who would be asked for their preference on Monday.
The respective regional leaders will keep their flock together to garner support before Rajnath Singh.
A senior BJP leader, however, said even a leader without any strong backing of MLAs may get the job if deemed fit by the high command.