Why try to court Jagan Mohan Reddy, asks Shiv Sena in reminder to BJP
The Shiv Sena expressed its unhappiness for the first time after the Bharatiya Janata Party reportedly offered the post of the deputy speaker in the Lok Sabha to Jagan Reddy’s YSR Congress. The Sena, which has staked claim over the post, asked why the BJP was running after the YSR Congress and offering it the post of deputy speaker though the NDA had enough numbers in the Lok Sabha.
The Sena has already made it clear that it would like the deputy speaker’s post for one of its MPs as it is the second largest party with 18 MPs in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Though the BJP hasn’t made a formal proposal to the Andhra Pradesh party, sources said feelers were sent to the YSR Congress Party.
In an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said, “There is a clear majority in the Lok Sabha and when the Shiv Sena is along with them (BJP), then what is the need to beseech anybody else? It is being said that Jagan’s YSR Congress has been given the ‘offer’ of the deputy speaker post but Jagan has put forward some conditions before the BJP. What is the need to be after Jagan? Someone like Om Birla (Lok Sabha Speaker) should be selected from the NDA. There are other issues as well but will speak on it later.”
The Sena is reportedly miffed with the BJP for offering it a low-profile cabinet berth. However, the party is avoiding a public spat. Earlier in the month, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had described the deputy speaker’s post as a rightful claim. He had said, “Expressing a wish or demanding something which is our right [Deputy Speaker’s post] does not mean that we are upset [with the BJP].”
Sanjay Raut, the Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha member had said that the BJP should consider a Sena MP for the post as they have the requisite numbers which makes it a natural claim.
“We have not demanded, we have said that the Shiv Sena has a natural claim over the post as we have the numbers… I have heard that BJD could be given, but they contested the polls against NDA. It is not our demand but our right, and our MPs are qualified and capable for the job,” he had told media persons.
Significantly, Sena had been giving Lok Sabha speaker’s post during NDA government led by late A B Vajpayee. Sena’s Manohar Joshi was speaker of the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, the tussle between the allies continues over the sharing of the CM post after the Maharashtra Assembly elections. On Friday, the Sena lauded chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ statement that the BJP and Sena will go as per the power sharing agreement. In his speech, the chief minister, who was invited for the foundation day anniversary of the Sena on Wednesday, said the BJP-Sena alliance will get a thumping victory in the coming assembly polls, and that the issue of who will become chief minister and who will become deputy chief minister was secondary.