Don’t want to break alliance, but BJP should keep its word: Uddhav Thackeray

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut says there is no change in the party’s stand on government formation

November 07, 2019 04:40 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 11:15 am IST - Mumbai

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. File photo.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. File photo.

“I don't want to break the alliance ( between the Shiv Sena and the BJP ) but BJP should keep its word. If they are willing to do that, they should call me,” Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray reportedly told party MLAs at a meeting in Mumbai on Thursday.

The MLAs also passed a resolution allowing Mr. Thackeray to take all decisions related to government formation. After the meeting, the lawmakers were moved to a hotel in Bandra.

Meanwhile, senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said the party had an alternative to the BJP and could prove its numerical strength in a floor test.

In the ongoing political crisis, Thursday witnessed more high voltage drama in the State capital. Mr. Thackeray had called for a meeting of all MLAs at his residence Matoshree. However, before attending the meeting, the MLAs were required to hand over their phones and also take a pledge.

At the meeting, Mr. Thackeray reportedly told his MLAs, “I am not doing this to corner BJP. If the BJP agrees to implement what was agreed, they should call me. Whether first half or second half of the [Chief Minister’s) term was never the case.”

56 Sena MLAs moved to Bandra hotel

Amid speculation of horse-trading ahead of the deadline for government formation in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena on Thursday moved its 56 MLAs and 8 independents who are supporting it, to a hotel in Bandra.

The move followed a meeting of the lawmakers with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree.

Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil said MLAs are not vegetables to be bought and sold.

Shiv Sena MLA Abdul Sattar, while arriving at Hotel Rangsharda said, “We have been ordered not to leave Mumbai. All 64 MLAs (56 of Sena and eight Independents supporting Sena) will be staying together here. In the meeting, all MLAs have given all rights to party chief Uddhav Thackeray. We want a Shiv Sena CM.”

After several MLAs had reached Hotel Rangsharda, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Rajya Sabha MP held a press conference where he said the Shiv Sena has an alternative (to BJP) and when asked how the party would install it's CM, he said that Sena has numerical strength and it will be clear on the floor of the house.

"There is no change in Shiv Sena position (that CM should be from the Sena). All Sena MLAs have supported this position. They have agreed to accept Uddhavji's decision. We want our CM, that is our position. Henceforth, a Sena CM will lead the State,” Mr Raut said at a press conference. He mentioned that those creating political uncertainty are causing losses to the State.

“Uddhavji has said that he will not do the sin of breaking alliance, even if an alternative is available. He still has the same position. But the mandate is for Sena-BJP. In 2014, BJP tried to bring in a minority government. But in 2019, situation is different. Unconstitutional acts, intimidation will not work now,” he further added.

Asked about Sena MLAs being put up in a hotel, Mr. Raut said, “MLAs have come from across the State. They don't have government accommodation. Also, Uddhavji wants all of them to stay together. What if they are needed to go somewhere at once?”

Earlier, speaking to Sena MLAs, Mr Thackeray said, “I am not trying to cut off ties with BJP but if it is not staying true to its word, then I will declare my decision at the right time. But if they are denying everything, what is to be discussed?” .

He also demanded to know if the BJP is trying to prove he was lying by the denying power sharing formula, referring to caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ comments to reporters that the equal sharing of the CM’s post was never decided.

Mr Thackeray had had suspended direct talks with the BJP after Mr Fadnavis’ statement.

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