While Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has denied Shiv Sena’s claims that the BJP had promised the Chief Minister’s post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Shiv Sena leaders have said that they’re not going to compromise on the formula.
Even as war of words continued between the alliance partners, political pundits say that the Sena is trying to build pressure on the BJP to get the post of deputy Chief Minister, besides plum posts of Home Ministry, Public Works Department, and Finance in the cabinet.
BJP won 105 and Sena 56 seats in the recently-concluded Assembly elections. NCP bagged 54 seats and Congress 44.
BJP-Sena can easily cross the magic number of 145 to prove majority in the House. Also, many of the independent MLAs have started extending support to these two parties.
Not on the same page
According to reports, Fadnavis — while having informal discussions with media — stated that he was not aware of any 50-50 per cent power sharing formula. Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut told media that he was surprised with Fadnavis’ statement and claimed that following Fadnavis’ statement, Sena had cancelled the meeting with BJP leaders on Tuesday.
But BJP sources denied that any such meeting was planned.
Interestingly, BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade — in a veiled threat to Sena — claimed that many of the Shiv Sena MLAs were in BJP’s contact.
BJP leaders in the State are pressurising Sena that if the party decides not to join the BJP government, Sena MLAs might rebel and join the BJP.
Congress-NCP game plan
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan speaking to reporters in his hometown Karad said that as of now there was no proposal from Shiv Sena seeking Congress’ support to form the government.
He said that if Sena comes with such proposal, the party will discuss it with the High Command and with alliance partner NCP.
Interestingly, NCP President Sharad Pawar has said that his party was going to occupy Opposition benches, as per the mandate given by voters.
BJP circles are abuzz with talks that Pawar might play his cards to support BJP without joining the government.
After the 2014 Assembly elections, Pawar had announced unconditional support to the BJP to form the government in Maharashtra.
With Pawar’s move, the BJP had staked claim to form the government without majority number and Sena had no option than to join the BJP government.
Amit Shah’s intervention
BJP sources said that the party’s national president Amit Shah is likely to visit Mumbai on the first week of November and finalise the formula for form the government.
Shah is likely to visit Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray to hold talks.