President rule has been applied because no coalition or political party has been able to form government in Maharashtra.
The Maharashtra election results were in favour of the BJP-Shiv Sena pre-poll alliance, but the partners could not agree on the terms of power sharing. The Sena’s claim for the Chief Minister’s post prevented coalition between BJP and Sena.
The Sena is the BJP’s oldest ally and both are bound by a competitive adherence to Hindutva. The Sena’s claim was also not justified by the verdict — it got 56 seats of the 288, while the BJP won nearly double that figure. Sena miscalculated the alternative scenario of leading a State government with the support of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Away from ethical coalitions
The idea of a Congress-NCP-Sena coalition government is toxic. The NCP and Congress fought in alliance, and as Sharad Pawar said, got a mandate to sit in the Opposition. Post-poll coalitions are a legitimate route to government formation when the legislature is hung but the situation in Maharashtra is far from it.
There were two pre-poll alliances, one got a clear majority and the other clearly lost. If the Congress and NCP want to keep the BJP out of power for ideological reasons, handing over power to a more virulent strain of Hindutva would be disingenuous. The formation of an NCP-Congress-Sena government, whatever may be its facade, will not only be a betrayal of the mandate but also be indefensible in ideological terms. Such an alliance, if at all formed, would not be stable or sustainable. The BJP must be hoping to pressure the Sena back into the alliance, but the best course now seems a fresh election.
Source: The Hindu
Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance