While incumbent chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was in New Delhi to meet party chief Amit Shah and NCP chief Sharad Pawar met Congress' acting president Sonia Gandhi, Sena's senior leaders met state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai. The results of assembly polls were announced on October 24.
"The governor informed us that there is some time for government formation in Maharashtra".
Speaking to reporters outside Raj Bhawan, Raut said that he appraised the governor about the current political scenario in the state and urged that the government should be formed at the earlier.
"The governor's office has a certain mandate and I don't have any powers to suggest the governor anything".
This has forced the party to rethink its stand on government formation.
The BJP and Shiv Sena have been bickering over sharing the chief minister's post.
Even as Shiv Sena has indicated that it would not be averse to forming the government with the support of the NCP and the Congress, reports said Sonia Gandhi has ruled out any support to them for a new power alignment in Maharashtra.
"The Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena only".
Shiv Sena has insisted that the two parties had a "50-50" power-sharing agreement before the elections. However, the Sena should declare that it is no longer associated with the BJP and the NDA.
Senior Maharashtra Congress leaders involved in the process told ThePrint Gandhi still remains undecided on the possible tie-up with Sena and hasn't signalled either a definitive "no" or "yes" to allying with the ideological opponent.
After the meeting, Pawar maintained suspense over the issue. The Sena editorial in party mouthpiece "Saamana" also underlined the need to form government in Maharashtra at the earliest "in the interest of the nation as well the people of the state".
"Her gut feeling is that Congress shouldn't ally with Shiv Sena", said the leader, who did not wish to be named.
To this, Pawar said, "I don't know where is the Sena getting these numbers from".
Addressing the media after the meeting, the NCP supremo, flanked by Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel, said: "The NCP-Congress has been given a mandate to sit in the opposition".
However, with the deadlock between the BJP and Sena showing no signs of ending, there is a possibility that President's Rule may be imposed in the state. Fadnavis held closed-door discussions with Bhagwat and RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi for over 45 minutes on the present political situation in the state, according to people aware of the developments.
However, there are a few enthusiasts too. The NCP and the Congress have 54 and 44 seats, respectively. He has been unanimously elected leader of the legislative party. However, other senior leaders like Sushilkumar Shinde, Sanjay Nirupam and Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge warned the party leaders against flirting with the Sena.
On his criticism in Marathi daily Tarun Bharat, widely seen inclined towards the RSS, Mr Raut said everyone has the right to criticise others and he or his party would not object to it.
Pre-election, BJP's poster boy Fadnavis had pitched himself as an indispensable state leader and had time and again asserted that he would be back as the state's CM.
Fadnavis, however, is refusing to budge. There is no formal offer from them, so far, for forming the government. "The direction of Maharashtra [politics] will depend on the steps to be taken by Fadnavis". It is believed that the party leadership is quite unhappy about Fadnavis' performance in the state.