A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Maharashtra on Tuesday evening said his party was exploring the possibility of government formation in the state, amid a crisis in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi due to the rebellion of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde while party leaders held a series of meetings to firm up a strategy.
Speaking to PTI on the condition of anonymity, the leader, who had served as a minister in the erstwhile Devendra Fadnavis government, added that "our priority is for the smooth transition of power".
Several BJP leaders, including Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, held marathon meetings during the day to discuss constitutional provisions, the arithmetic required to stake a claim to form a government as well as possible legal objections to such a kind of power transition, BJP sources said.
Asked about the possibility of Shinde and his loyalist MLAs getting disqualified if he failed to muster enough numbers to circumvent the anti-defection law and the prospects of mid-term polls, the BJP leader said his party was not in favour of early elections at the moment, as it is a costly affair and may even backfire in some pockets (assembly seats).
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil had said that the BJP would consider a proposal to form a government if it comes from Shinde.
As far as the numbers are concerned, the BJP has 106 MLAs in the 288-member House, whose effective strength now stands at 285.
After the results of the MLC polls were declared on Monday night, opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP had managed to win 134 votes.
"In the Rajya Sabha elections, we managed to win first preference votes of 123 MLAs but in this election, we managed to win 134 votes. This is an indication of unrest among the MLAs against the state government," Fadnavis had told reporters.
He had also thanked all the Independent MLAs and small parties for their support.