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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Good news soon, says BJP ahead of meeting Guv today; Sena takes a swipe

Raut, who has been leading the Sena’s offensive against the BJP in front of television cameras for over the last 10 days, pointed out that the Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray hadn’t received any proposal on forming the new government yet.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2019 00:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sanjay Raut. (Photo: ANI)
Sanjay Raut. (Photo: ANI)
         

Just hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party signalled that Maharashtra would soon have a new government, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday rushed to take a fresh swipe at ally BJP that had announced plans to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari tomorrow.

Raut said if the BJP leaders meet the Governor to stake claim, they should also form the government as they are the ‘single largest party’. “We have been saying it (that the BJP should stake claim and form govt on its own),” he said.

The barb from the Sena camp followed a meeting of top Maharashtra BJP leaders at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis residence on Wednesday evening. Emerging out of the meeting, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told reporters to expect some “good news soon” and declared that a delegation of BJP leaders led by state president Chandrakant Patil would meet Governor Koshyari on Thursday “with a message approved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis”.

“There will be good news any moment over the government formation in Maharashtra,” the BJP leader was quoted as saying by ANI. According to PTI, the BJP minister added: “All types of tigers would be protected by the BJP. We will take care of them.”

Mungantiwar also added that the BJP’s state unit would need to get a new chief soon since incumbent Chandrakant Patil would be in the new cabinet also.

Raut, who has been leading the Sena’s offensive against the BJP in front of television cameras for over the last 10 days, pointed out that the Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray hadn’t received any proposal on forming the new government yet.

The BJP, which had contested last month’s state elections in alliance with the Shiv Sena, had emerged as the single largest party, a status that its leaders have frequently flaunted during the standoff between the two parties over the power sharing deal.

The BJP and Sena secured 105 seats and 56 seats respectively in Maharashtra’s 288-member assembly. The NCP bagged 54 seats and the Congress 44. The majority mark in the legislative assembly is 145.

But the two allies do not agree on the interpretation of the pact that they had signed off on when they decided to join hands in a pre-poll alliance. The Sena says a 50-50 power sharing pact that was agreed upon meant that one of its leader should be a chief minister too, possibly on rotation. The BJP has outrightly rejected any suggestion to share the CM’s chair but is open to discussion on the number of cabinet berths for its ally.

For days, the Shiv Sena had held out a threat of walking out of the NDA and teaming up with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. But after a second meeting in less than a week, Raut told reporters that Pawar felt that the NCP’s mandate was not to be in the government, but as an opposition party. Pawar made a similar point at a Press conference that he addressed later in the day, confirming Raut’s version of their meeting. The announcement had brightened hopes that the two bickering allies were close to a deal.

Ramdas Athawale, chief of the RPI(A) that is also in alliance with the BJP-Sena team, told reporters that Pawar’s statement implied that the Shiv Sena had no option but to join hands with the BJP to form government in Maharashtra under Devendra Fadnavis’ leadership.