The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the reason the Shiv Sena could not implement its promise of reserving 80% jobs in the state to the sons of the soil, former Maharashtra chief minister Manohar Joshi said on Wednesday.
The Sena that led the coalition with the BJP from 1995-99 wanted the job proposal to be passed but “BJP opposed when we discussed the same. We did not bring a formal proposal because of our alliance partner’s stand,” he said.
Joshi was coordinating a seminar on Era of Coalition Government: Its Compulsions and Challenges in the Vidhan Bhavan as part of the platinum jubilee celebration of the state legislature.
Joshi’s revelation may widen the cracks between the Sena and BJP’s two-decade-old alliance.
Surprised by the statement, state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar demanded to know what that party had done for reserving jobs for locals. “We have never opposed reservations for locals. It is BJPs stated policy where we have promoted the idea of reservations for locals," he said.
Mungantiwar claimed that he had moved an independent resolution in the assembly during the BJP-Sena rule demanding the reservation. “Joshi seems to have forgotten that it was his party colleague and then minister Gajanan Kirtikar who said they would look into the issue and then did nothing," he said.
Earlier, Joshi had claimed that the coalition prevented the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from building the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“The BJP was determined to keep the promise of constructing the Ram Temple on the disputed Ayodhya land, but smaller NDA partners did not want it [the temple],” he said, adding, “Had the BJP gone ahead with proposal, the government would have collapsed.”
Speakers and chairmen of various other state legislatures participated in the symposium. It included A Chakrapani, chairman of Andhra Pradesh council, Uday Narain Choudhari, speaker, Bihar assembly, KG Bopaiah, speaker, Karnataka, and Kuldeep Sharma, speaker, Haryana assembly.
Choudhari feared a grave danger to the democratic system because of coalitions across the country.
He said it was time for politicians to retrospect why the voters did not trust politicians.