Undecided Sena to take call on its stand just before vote

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 12, 2014 00:20 IST

A day before the trust vote, the Shiv Sena was still making up its mind on sitting in the Opposition, even though it did not get a positive response from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

After a meeting with party MLAs on Tuesday evening, the Sena leadership chose not to announce its stand, but told legislators to follow the party diktat during both the trust vote and the election for Assembly Speaker.

Party spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said after the meeting, “The party diktat will be issued to the legislators on Wednesday morning. The decision about party’s stand on the trust vote and the election of the Speaker of the state Assembly would be taken by Uddhavji by tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.”

The party legislators were also told to report to the party office at Nariman Point in the morning.

In his meeting with party MLAs, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked them to be prepared to sit in the Opposition if there was no reconciliation with the BJP.

They were told the party was not in the mood to compromise and would join the government only if a respectable proposal was put forward.

Meanwhile, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis called up Thackeray to urge him to withdraw the nomination filed by his party for the post of speaker. Thackeray reportedly told Fadnavis a decision will be taken based on the outcome of the negotiations on a power-sharing formula between leaders of both the parties.

Though the Sena is still hopeful of a headway till Wednesday morning, the proposals being put forth by the BJP did not match the Sena demand, said party sources.

Some Sena leaders claimed the BJP’s top brass in Delhi, such as finance minister Arun Jaitley, were in constant touch with their leaders and this may result in a positive outcome at the last moment.

Jaitley was talking to Sena MP Anil Desai till late night on Tuesday. Union minister and BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy’s statement that they were positive of the outcome of the talks with the Sena kept the party’s hopes alive.

The party filed the nomination of its Parner MLA Vijay Auti for the post of Assembly Speaker on Tuesday morning. With 63 members in the Assembly, the party has little chances of electing its legislator as the speaker.

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