Shiv Sena growls to demand its pound of flesh

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on October 25, 2019

An all-decked up BJP office in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Its alliance partner Shiv Sena has made it clear that it is not going to support the BJP without a substantial share in power   -  KSL

Not willing to play second fiddle, Sena — through its mouthpiece Saamana — has advised BJP leaders to be down to earth

“We hold the power keys,” proclaimed Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana newspaper today while reporting elections and its editorial adds that the people of Maharashtra have taught lessons to those who were “ arrogantly” trying to grab power in the State single-handedly.

The editorial advises BJP leaders to be down to the earth and has praised the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar as a winner of the political wrestle against Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Demanding its share

In a clear signal to its alliance partner BJP, Shiv Sena is growling to prove its importance. The party has made its intentions clear that it is not going to support the BJP without a substantial share in the power. Sena insiders say that the party has staked claim on the post of Chief Minister for 2.5 years and key positions in the cabinet. Sena MLAs are already demanding that Thackeray scion Adityaa be made Chief Minister.

According to reports, BJP national President Amit Shah called on Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray to congratulate him. Even as Sena and BJP leaders are mum on the government-formation formula, hectic political developments are on behind the curtains. Speaking to media yesterday, Uddhav said that he adjusted to contest 124 seats considering BJP’s “difficulties” during elections and added, “Every time I cannot understand your (BJP’s) difficulties”. Shiv Sena and BJP shared power in the last five years in Maharashtra, but not without internal bickering. Many of the BJP and Sena leaders had rebelled against each other during elections and in Konkan region BJP and Sena fought against each other.

Senior leaders of Shiv Sena plan to meet Uddhav in the next couple of days to demand that Sena must not play a secondary role in the alliance and must get the lion’s share. Sena leaders say that the party has every right to build its base in Maharashtra and its main competitor is BJP.

State Congress leaders have hinted that the party was not averse of supporting Sena to keep the BJP out of power. Congress leaders say that BJP is a ‘bigger threat’ than the Sena. NCP Chief Pawar is playing his cards close to the chest, but his aides say that he would be more than happy to support Sena and join the government. The inner circles of the NCP are even working on the power sharing formula.

Raj Thackeray

Interestingly, as Uddhav’s estranged cousin Raj Thackeray’s party – the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has once again failed to perform. The MNS has won only one seat. Political pundits predict that MNS leader might rethink over his strategy and bury hatchets with Uddhav, at least to have some understanding on political front. However, Sena insiders say that Uddhav might not be immediately ready to welcome overtures by Raj.

Published on October 25, 2019

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