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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

A 50:50 power-sharing formula that split allies BJP, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra

On its part, the Shiv Sena interpreted that the CM post would be shared for two-and-a-half years each between the allies. But the BJP later said that there was no such agreement.

mumbai Updated: Nov 11, 2019 10:15 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are at the core of the bitter power tussle.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are at the core of the bitter power tussle.(HT Photo)
         

At the core of the bitter power tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena for the past 16 days, since the results of the Maharashtra Assembly elections were announced, was the 50:50 power-sharing formula.

The Sena insisted that the formula included sharing of the chief minister’s (CM) post for two-and-a-half years, while the BJP had debunked it, saying that no agreement was reached over the formula. The formula announced by caretaker CM Devendra Fadnavis in February was that the two parties would “equitably share power and posts”. Fadnavis had also said that the two parties would also equally divide the seats to be contested in the elections, which were held on October 21.

However, the BJP gave Sena 124 seats, while it contested 164 of the 288 seats.

 Also Watch | ‘Sena insulted mandate’: BJP tells Maharashtra Governor it can’t form govt

On its part, the Sena interpreted that the CM post would be shared for two-and-a-half years each between the allies. But the BJP later said that there was no such agreement.

After Fadnavis denied that no such formula was decided between the two parties, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray called it a move to paint him a liar. Thackeray on Friday accused Fadnavis of employing “wordplay”, while announcing the power-sharing pact. Thackeray said that BJP national president Amit Shah had come to Matoshree to finalise the deal.

“During negotiations then, I had got a proposal that we would get a deputy CM post. I rejected the offer… I was not that helpless to enter into an alliance only for the deputy CM post… The next day I got a call from Amit Bhai… I said I want equal distribution of seats and power sharing, including CM post for 2.5 years. Then he came to Matoshree, we sat in Balasaheb’s room. He said he wants to improve ties between the two parties. I said what has been decided between us should be conveyed to other BJP leaders. It was conveyed to Devendraji. Only then Devendraji said if we announce that CM post [tenure] has been split into two equal terms, then I will face issues in the party. You leave it to me; I will put it in my words. Now I know how wordplay happened,” Thackeray told reporters on how the pact was finalised.

Fadnavis blamed Sena for the inability of the allies to form a new government and denied that no decision was taken on sharing the top post. “On the issue of sharing the CM post for 2.5 years, no such decision was made in front of me… I also asked our party president Amit Shah whether such a decision was made when I was not present, but he too denied it,” said Fadnavis.

On Sunday, the BJP, which emerged the largest party in the polls by winning 105 seats, stated that it would not stake claim to form the government as it did not have the requisite numbers in the 288-member House.