MUMBAI: Shiv Sena won't side with the BJP even if offered Lord Indra's throne, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said here on Friday.
Talking to reporters, Raut reiterated that his party will get the Maharashtra CM's post when the three-party alliance with Congress and NCP assumes power.
"The time for offers has ended," Raut said, when asked about reports that the BJP had agreed to share the CM's post with the Sena.
"People of Maharashtra want Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to become the CM," he said.
Asked if the three non-BJP parties would meet the state governor on Friday itself, Raut quipped, "Why meet the governor when the President's rule is in place".
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called on NCP president Sharad Pawar upon his arrival in Mumbai late on Thursday night.
The meeting was expected to decide “whether Sena’s chief minister would stay in the saddle for five years or would the arrangement be rotational. Uddhav is the choice for CM for both the NCP and the Sena,” said a senior NCP leader. Uddhav took son Aaditya along when he called on Pawar, but what transpired at the meeting was not immediately known.
No Congress leader was present at the meeting.
However, there was more clarity on the contours of the new alliance. Its proposed name is Maha Vikas Aghadi. The Shiv Sena is expected to get 16 berths, the NCP 15 and the Congress 12, claimed sources.
Also, the stage has now shifted to Mumbai where leaders of the three parties will discuss the final structure of the government. Both the Sena and the Congress have called meetings of their respective party legislators there on Friday.
“The NCP and the Congress have completed discussions on all issues. There is complete unanimity between the two parties,” former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters here after a meeting with the NCP.
The two parties held a series of meetings to prepare a common minimum programme (CMP) and the government structure. Talks were also held on the power-sharing formula in various boards, corporations and other departments.
The CMP has been drawn up keeping in mind important issues like farm distress, unemployment and job losses. At the Congress Working Committee meeting on Thursday, some leaders expressed concern over allying with the ideologically opposite Sena and suggested that the party’s secular stand be reflected clearly in the CMP.
But during talks on the CMP, while the Congress wanted to harp on secularism in the text, the Sena had its reservations, as it would find it difficult to sell it to its cadre that has been raised on dollops of hard Hindutva. An NCP leader suggested a middle path — wording it as adherence to the “Preamble of the Indian Constitution” instead of secularism. Both Sonia and Uddhav approved it.
The three parties are expected to stake their claim to form the government by this weekend of early next week. NCP and Congress are also scheduled to hold talks with other pre-poll allies like the CPI(M) and the Samajwadi Party.
(With ENS Inputs)