Maharashtra was placed under President’s rule amid mounting political uncertainty on Tuesday, 19 days after the results of the October 21 Vidhan Sabha election were announced. But the door to explore multiple options for government formation is still ajar for the parties.
With the state assembly kept under suspended animation for now, here are a few possible scenarios which might emerge in the days or weeks to come:
Scenario No. 1
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with a combined strength of 98 legislators reach a consensus on supporting a 56-MLA Shiv Sena-led government, work out a common minimum programme (CMP) and form the government in the next few days.
Scenario No. 2
The Congress declines to be part of the Shiv Sena government after all the efforts to form a non-BJP government come a cropper
Scenario No. 3
After its efforts to form a government with the Congress and the Sena fails, the NCP chooses to support the BJP, which has 105 MLAs of its own, helping it get past the magic figure of 145 in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.
Scenario No. 4
Realising that it has failed to form a non-BJP government, Shiv Sena does a U-turn, returns to BJP by giving up its demand for the chief ministership. Aditya Thackeray becomes the deputy chief minister in the new government and everything is back to where it started from.
Scenario No. 5
Neither NCP nor Shiv Sena wants to join forces with the BJP after their failure to form a government with the support of the Congress. But all these parties face rebellion or large-scale defections helping the BJP form a government under Devendra Fadnavis's leadership.
Scenario No. 6
The BJP initially tries to split any of the three parties but fails. However, on the day of the trust vote sought by the BJP in its renewed bid to form the government, a group of legislators from one or more parties defy the whip of their respective parties and either abstain from voting or vote for the BJP. If their number is less than two-thirds strength of their party, they will subsequently lose the membership under the anti-defection law but will contest the byelections later on BJP ticket.
Scenario No. 7
All efforts by the parties or the alliances to reach the majority mark come to a naught, forcing the Governor to dissolve the assembly after six months paving the way for fresh elections in the state.