With Shiv Sena threatening to pull out of the government and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) claiming to prefer a mid-term poll, doubts are being raised over the stability of the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra.
Fadnavis government, which has been enjoying smooth sailing so far, will have to prove its majority during the assembly floor test if Sena decides to withdraw its support. The current strength of the BJP is 121 seats, and it will need another 24 seats to claim majority 288-seat assembly if Sena quits the government. Sena has 63 MLAs.
Pawar added fuel to the speculations doing rounds about BJP government’s future after Shiv Sena leaders last week hinted at pulling out from the government.
“NCP is ready to face mid-term polls in Maharashtra if such a situation emerges after February 23 (the day results of the Mumbai civic polls are declared). There won’t be any loss of Maharashtra if elections are held within two and a half years,” Pawar tweeted on Monday
Speaking a Marathi news channel on Tuesday, the NCP chief reiterated that he would prefer fresh elections in Maharashtra in case Sena quits the government.
Pawar’s statement assumes significance as it was the NCP which had declared unconditional support to the BJP soon after assembly election results were announced back in 2014. He had then supported the BJP on the pretext that the party didn’t want the state to go for re-elections immediately.
On the other hand, he also opined that he did not believe that Sena would pull out of the BJP-led government.
Also read: Is Maharashtra heading for mid-term poll?