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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena firm on 50:50 formula, Uddhav Thackeray to meet MLAs today

Indian Express 2019-11-07 07:33:34
Devendra Fadnavis (R), with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (File)

WITH THE BJP set to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Khoshiyari on Thursday, ally Shiv Sena on Wednesday refused to budge from its demand for a 50:50 share of the chief minister’s post in Maharashtra.

Sena leaders indicated that the deadlock between the two parties would end only if the BJP agreed to this demand, and said they were also prepared not to be a part of the government. The leadership is also firm on its demand for equal power sharing when it came to other portfolios, which Sena said was decided while forging the saffron alliance before the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.

Amid this, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to address a meeting of party legislators on Thursday.

“Uddhavji is firm on his stance. Negotiations can start if the BJP is ready to honour what it had promised us. Otherwise, there is no point in talks. The deadlock may end if the BJP agrees to Sena chief’s demand or it may not even end,” said a Sena leader.

Maintaining that the Sena leadership seems to be ready to let the BJP form the government without its support, the leader added: “The party leadership has considered all probabilities, including sitting in Opposition. Uddhavji will take a final call.”

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said that the BJP, the single largest party, should stake claim to form the government. “…BJP leaders are meeting the Governor tomorrow to stake claim to form the government… we have been demanding the same. The single largest party should stake claim to form the government and should form the government. If the BJP is going to submit a list of 145 legislators, we will be happy,” said Raut, adding that leaders from all parties have met the Governor so far.

Raut, who is also the editor of Sena mouthpiece Saamna, said: “Farmers in Maharashtra also want a Sena government. I am sure the Sena chief will install a Sena CM.”

He added that in all seriousness, BJP leader and Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar — who had said there would soon be “good news” on Mahayuti’s government formation — “would also give the good news that there will be a Sena CM”.

Raut further said that no proposal would be exchanged between Sena and BJP and the BJP must implement whatever has been decided before Lok Sabha polls.