Sena may soften its stand after CM’s memorial promise

  • Sayli Udas Mankikar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 20, 2014 00:22 IST

Following overtures from the BJP in the past week and NCP Sharad Pawar’s unexpected remark about snap polls, the Shiv Sena might once again consider joining the BJP government.

With Sena legislators putting increasing pressure on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to loosen the party’s stand, party sources have indicated it might work out a mutually agreeable proposal with the BJP.

At present, we have the leader of the opposition post in our hand. But that can always change if the BJP talks to us in a respectable fashion, which has started with chief minister Fadnavis acknowledging the Sena publicly on the memorial issue,” said a senior Sena leader, saying it was a positive gesture which went down ‘very well’ in Matoshree, the Thackeray household.

After almost a month-long standoff between the Sena and the BJP, it seems the bitterness between them is on the decline. Things seemed to thaw after all state BJP leaders visited the Bal Thackeray memorial site on his second death anniversary.

But the masterstroke came in the form of Fadnavis’ announcement that a committee would be formed to oversee the construction of a Thackeray memorial in Mumbai.

BJP, which has 121 seats in the government, was able to win the trust vote through voice vote. While the NCP had promised to give support to the government, things became uncertain when Pawar said the state could ‘expect snap polls in the next six months’.

On the other hand, the Sena, which has 63 seats, has been sticking to its demand for 12 ministerial berths, including the home ministry, which the BJP is not willing to give.

“If they come up with a good proposal, then adjustments can be made. But Uddhavji has made it clear that now, anyone from the BJP who is keen to join us will communicate directly with him. And no leaders will be sent to Delhi any more. All the communication done from our side is complete,” he said, adding they are expecting a proposal from the BJP by November 30, when the next Cabinet expansion is expected.

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