BJP bypasses Governor, plans swearing-in on its own in Maharashtra

In-party consultations are on for the oath-taking ceremony of a BJP-led government, while protocol states that the leader of the party with the most numbers calls on the Governor with a proposal to form government

Having emerged as the single largest party in the state, the BJP seems to be paying little attention to set norms and protocols as to how to form government. The party has bypassed the Governor in its preparations for the swearing-in ceremony and is conducting consultations within the organisation.

Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

As per the laid down procedure, the newly elected leader of the party with the maximum number of MLAs is supposed to call on the Governor to stake his claim to the government.

Only after the Governor accepts the proposal will he/she ask the leading party for the convenient date and time to hold the swearing-in ceremony, and preparations begin thereafter. In BJP’s case, the party is yet to elect a leader for its government, but senior leaders are already making preparations for the ceremony.

mid-day’s October 23 report on Gadkari’s show of strength in Nagpur
mid-day’s October 23 report on Gadkari’s show of strength in Nagpur

Sources say the state administration began preparations after coming to know that PM Narendra Modi and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states would attend the oath-taking function of the new government. They said the venue was chosen as Wankhede Stadium, at 5 pm on October 30.

“Senior Mantralaya officials have informed Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao about the exercise,” sources told this paper. Given that the state is currently under President’s Rule, the Governor is at the helm of affairs, but he was only apprised of it informally while starting preparations. The initiative from the state officials is at the behest of the BJP, said sources.

A meeting of newly elected legislators is scheduled for October 28, when party observers, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP vice-president J P Nadda will be present along with senior leader OP Mathur and Rajiv Pratap Rudy. When asked about the issue, BJP leaders refused to comment on the preparations. A senior leader said the preparations began after informal talks between the higher-ups.

CM impasse
Meanwhile, the BJP’s internal crisis over who shall be CM is still on, with a section within the party asking for a rethink on Devendra Fadnavis’s name as the next CM.

mid-day had reported on October 23 that party’s big guns, including his staunch supporter Sudhir Mungantiwar, and 39 MLAs, had rallied around Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, pushing for his candidature as CM.

Senior leader Eknath Khadse’s supporters launched a fresh bid, by taking out a padyatra in his native Muktainagar in Jalgaon district on Sunday. The padyatra ended at Sant Muktabai temple, where supporters sought blessings in favour of Khadse.

The leader is vying for the post on the basis of his seniority. These differences only expose the chinks in the cadre. Meanwhile, on the issue of Shiv Sena’s support to the government and its participation in it, Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawde said talks were on between both the parties on the issue.

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