NEW DELHI: With the Shiv Sena continuing to play hardball, BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday put off his planned visit to Mumbai and asked Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to firmly reject the ally’s demand for rotational chief ministership.
For the Maharashtra BJP unit, it’s deja vu as the Sena had resorted to similar tactics after the 2014 state poll verdict.
“This is a quarrel within the larger ideological family. Both parties know their limits. Make no mistake, in the end we will have a BJP-Sena government. The BJP has enough elbow room to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of Shiv Sena,” said a senior BJP functionary.
But the top BJP leadership remained firm that the post of the chief minister is non-negotiable. “The 2024 general elections in the state will be held under a BJP chief minister in Maharashtra, which accounts for 48 Lok Sabha seats. That is the mandate,” said another functionary. BJP strategists hope the delay would “tire out” the Sena leadership.
Banking on Independent lawmakers
The BJP is counting on the support of about 15 Independents to take the party’s strength to 120, a tad closer to their 2014 tally of 122, with the halfway mark at 144. That would hopefully make the Thackerays fall finally in line, they reckon.