Uddhav Thackeray wants to run the next government in Maharashtra, even if he isn’t chief minister. That is assuming the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance comes to power.
A day after the Shiv Sena chief said in Nanded that bagging the chief ministership wasn’t his top priority, his party leaders insisted that the Sena hadn’t given up its claim to the post. They said Uddhav would directly or indirectly control the new government.
“Why should the Sena let go of the chief minister's post if we get more seats. And Uddhavji is our choice for chief minister,” said a senior Sena leader, requesting anonymity.
Asked on Sunday whether he had decided to give the chief minister’s post to the BJP, Thackeray said his statement on Saturday was misreported. "Please listen to my statement again so that it is not misreported again. Being chief minister is not my dream or priority. My top agenda is to provide all the facilities that people in this state need."
Thackeray’s remarks on Saturday had created a stir among Sena workers and leaders, who have been projecting him as Maharashtra’s next CM.
Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said Thackeray would lead the government from the front. “Maharashtra’s CM will be from the Shiv Sena,” Raut said.
There has been a logjam over seat distribution between the Sena and the BJP. After Thursday’s meeting between Thackeray and the BJP president Amit Shah, there appears to be an understanding that the seats will be shared more or less equally. If so, the party that wins more seats will stake claim to the CM’s post.
A Sena MP said the Sena-BJP would first come out with lists of candidates sure to win and then talk about those facing tough fights. “There is no number game for now. We will come out with lists on the basis of ability to win,” the MP told HT.