MUMBAI: The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is likely to take at least 4-5 days more to form government in Maharashtra, even as the one-upmanship between the two saffron allies intensified.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated that no decision was made regarding sharing CM’s post for 2.5 years and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, in response, cancelled a meeting called to decide upon the details of power-sharing.
Fadnavis, however, expressed confidence that his party would be able to mend ways with the Shiv Sena and it won’t have to go in the 2014 way when the BJP had formed a minority government which sailed through the trust vote on the floor of the house with the help of NCP.
On occasion of ‘Diwali Meelan’ at his official residence ‘Varsha’, Fadnavis was bombarded with questions regarding the 50:50 formula and the developments on the front of government formation. Confident and relaxed as usual, Fadnavis dealt with all the queries in detail.
“The issue of sharing the CM’s post was never raised in front of me,” Fadnavis said and added that when he checked with party president Amit Shah, he was told that the issue neither prop up during Shah’s discussions with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray before the Lok Sabha election.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, then told the media that Thackeray has cancelled a meeting scheduled in the evening to decide upon the details of government formation as a reaction to CM’s statement.
“Everybody has listened to what CM Fadnavis had said while announcing BJP-Shiv Sena alliance before Lok Sabha election. He had spoken about equitable distribution of posts and power. If now the BJP leaders are going back on their word, there is no need of a meeting and hence it has been cancelled,” Raut said.
“If they are denying what was discussed before Lok Sabha, we will have to change the definition of truth,” he added. While speaking at his residence Fadnavis said he was confident that the government will be formed under BJP’s leadership very soon.
“Though discussions have begun on both, official and informal levels, no proposal has come up from the Shiv Sena’s side,” Fadnavis said and added, “all the demands put forth by the Shiv Sena would be discussed and agreed on merit”.
When asked who will lead the government, Fadnavis said, legislative party will choose its leader tomorrow. When reminded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed people to re-elect Devendra with an increased mandate, Fadnavis said, “So you know who is going to be the leader.” He also expressed confidence that he would lead the government for next five years.
Raut, however, said that Uddhav Thackeray will himself speak on behalf of the Shiv Sena.
“No one would be able to stop Fadnavis from becoming CM if he has 145 MLAs,” Raut said sarcastically. “We are not demanding anything wrong. We are just saying that the formula finalised before Lok Sabha polls be implemented,” Raut said.
Earlier in the day, in an interview given to a TV channel, Raut had said that the BJP should not force Shiv Sena to execute the alternatives it has.
“Uddhav Thackeray has said that we have other options too but we don’t want to do the sin of accepting that alternative. Shiv Sena has always done politics of truth, we are not hungry for power,” he said.
On being asked about the delay in government formation, Raut had said, “There is no Dushyant here whose father is in jail. Here it’s us, who do politics of dharma and satya”.
On alternatives before BJP, Raut said, Pawar who has created an environment against BJP and Congress against whom the BJP created an environment would never go with the BJP.
NCP general secretary Nawab Malik, meanwhile, said that his party would support the Shiv Sena, if the alliance fails to form the government.
BJP’s affiliate Rajya Sabha members from Pune Sanjay Kakde too stated that 45 out of 56 Shiv Sena members are in touch with him and are ready to cross over for government formation.
CM Fadnavis, however, sought to brush away with the remarks saying that he is not in touch with Kakde nowadays. The CM, however, made it clear that around 10 members from independents and other parties have vouched for support for him. “A few others are likely to do so soon,” he said.