With just a week left for the Devendra Fadnavis government to prove its majority in the Maharashtra assembly, the BJP and Shiv Sena are yet to resolve their differences over terms for the latter’s participation in the Cabinet. The post of deputy chief minister has emerged as a bone of contention.
While both sides have maintained since last Friday that discussions were on to sort out the differences, a Sena MP on Tuesday said the talks were “stuck”. “We have been demanding the deputy CM’s post, which they don’t want to give. We can make adjustments about portfolios but not this,” a Sena MP said.
Sena has been insisting on following the 1995 formula under which the BJP, being the junior partner, had got the deputy CM’s post, in the first coalition government formed by the two saffron parties.
But now the BJP, which has emerged as the single-largest party with 121 seats in the 288-member assembly, wants it to be discontinued.
He added part of the problem was with portfolios being offered as important ones like home, finance, revenue have already been allotted to BJP ministers.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday vowed that his party would sweep the next Maharashtra assembly elections by bagging 180 seats.
Thackeray’s assertion came after a darshan at the hilltop temple of the family deity, Goddess Ekvira, on the outskirts of the popular hill station of Lonavala.
“It is our tradition to come and pray here and express our gratitude to the Goddess...This time we have come with 63 legislators...Next time we shall come with more than 180 MLAs,” Thackeray declared. “We want to create a Maharashtra that will be the envy of the whole world.”