The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday said it will not stake claim to form government in Maharashtra, ANI reported.

The BJP’s Maharashtra unit chief, Chandrakant Patil, spoke to the media after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Sunday evening. “We will not form government in the state,” he said, adding that the party does not have the required numbers to form the government, according to PTI. A party needs the support of 145 MLAs to form government in the 288-member Assembly.

“The mandate of the people of Maharashtra was for the BJP and Shiv Sena alliance,” Patil said. “Sena has, however, disrespected the mandate, hence we have decided to not stake claim to form government. We have informed our decision to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.”

He wished Sena luck if it wanted to form the government with the help of Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. On Saturday, Koshyari had asked the BJP to stake its claim to form government.

The BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 105 seats, and the Shiv Sena secured 56 seats in the 288-member Assembly. But for over two weeks, the BJP refused to entertain the Shiv Sena’s persistent demand for the chief minister’s post for half the tenure and a 50:50 division of Cabinet portfolios.

The Nationalist Congress Party won 54 seats and the Congress got 44 in the Assembly elections that were held on October 21.

Congress leader Ashok Chavan said he wanted a stable government in the state. “Congress does not want President’s rule in Maharashtra,” Chavan said, according to PTI. He added that the MLAs will seek the party high command’s advice about its future political stand.

The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, indicated that it will stake claim to form government. “Party chief Uddhav Thackeray clearly said today that chief minister will be from Shiv Sena,” its leader Sanjay Raut said, according to ANI. “If Uddhav ji has said so, then it means that there will be CM from Shiv Sena, at any cost.”

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Milind Deora said that Maharashtra governor should invite his party and its alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party to form government as the BJP and Shiv Sena have refused to do so. However, Deora’s rival and Maharashtra Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said it was impossible for the Congress and the NCP to form government in the current political scenario. “For that we need Shiv Sena,” he tweeted. “And we must not think of sharing power with Shiv Sena under any circumstances. That will be a disastrous move for the party.”

Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik said that his party and the Congress will try to form an “alternative government” if BJP and Sena do not.

Sanjay Raut on Sunday said his party did not consider the Congress an enemy and accused caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of playing “politics of fear”. In a column in party mouthpiece Saamana, Raut said Nationalist Congress party President Sharad Pawar will play an important role in the government formation.

“Fadnavis’s biggest failure is that Sena is not ready to talk with him,” he wrote. “This means that Uddhav Thackeray will decide who will become the next chief minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar will play an important role in this process.”

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