India: Central to rule western state of Maharashtra


Indian cabinet has recommended imposition of central rule in the western state of Maharashtra, amid uncertainty over government formation, even 20 days after provincial assembly election results, reported the news agency Press Trust of India. 

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had contested elections with its 30-year old alliance partner Shiv Sena party. The alliance had comfortably won a majority in the 288-member assembly in the provincial election on Oct. 21.

But the ruling allies fell out over Sena’s demand for a rotational chief minister of the state, and an equal number of ministerial berths.

On Monday, Sena pulled out its only minister in the central government, signaling its exit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Over the past few days, the Shiv Sena had begun attempts to form a government with its sworn rivals the Nationalist Congress Party and the main opposition Indian National Congress party, widely known as the Congress.

Maharashtra, that houses the city of Mumbai — India’s economic capital — is regarded richest state, accounting 15% of country’s industrial output.

It is also third-most-urbanized state in the country.

The metropolis of Mumbai houses the headquarters of most of the banks, corporate and financial institutions and is also home to India’s largest stock exchange, and the world-famous film industry.

The Shiv Sena has moved the Supreme Court to challenge the imposition of central rule, said TV channel, CNN-News18.

The state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari recommended central rule on Tuesday morning. Earlier, he had given a deadline to the parties, till Tuesday evening to stake claims for the formation of the next government.

Usually, before inviting a political party to form the government, the governor seeks to verify that it has the support of a majority of legislatures.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi had authorized three senior party leaders to hold talks on the issue of the formation of government in Maharashtra. The idea of the Shiv Sena and the Congress — two divergent ideological formations — coming together for government formation in Maharashtra had left many surprised.
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