Maharashtra 2019

Sena’s MLAs-elect seek BJP’s written promise

Sena posture: A banner proposing Aditya Thackeray’s name for Chief Minister outside the Thackeray residence in Mumbai on Saturday.

Sena posture: A banner proposing Aditya Thackeray’s name for Chief Minister outside the Thackeray residence in Mumbai on Saturday.  

They demand an equal term at the helm of the government with Aaditya Thackeray as CM for two-and-a-half years

Hectic parleys for the Chief Minister’s post in Maharashtra continued on Saturday, with the Shiv Sena throwing its hat into the ring, while the BJP and other allies held their cards close.

Meeting at Sena Bhavan, the party’s headquarters in Mumbai, the newly elected Sena MLAs passed a motion congratulating their young leader Aaditya Thackeray and hailing him as the “future Chief Minister”. They demanded that party president Uddhav Thackeray get a written commitment from the BJP for allowing the Sena to be at the helm of the government for two-and-a-half years.

Pre-poll agreement

The party must pursue the 50:50 formula as agreed upon by the senior leadership of the mahayuti prior to the election, the Sena legislators said.

“The meeting quorum agreed as per what Amit Shahji [BJP president] had promised under the 50:50 formula, both allies should get a chance to run the government for two-and-a-half years each. The Shiv Sena must also have a Chief Minister of its own. Party president Uddhavji should get this assurance in writing from the BJP,” Pratap Sarnaik, a two-time MLA, said.

Meanwhile, BJP State president Chandrakant Patil called for a meeting of the newly elected MLAs on October 30. The meeting is likely to elect a leader of the party in the Assembly and arrive at a consensus on the next chief ministerial candidate.

The alliance has 161 seats in the 288-member House, with 105 of the BJP and 56 of the Sena.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis later met Mr. Patil at a gathering of all BJP district presidents and senior leaders at a private gymkhana in south Mumbai. Sources said the party leaders held informal discussions on portfolio distribution informally.

Rajendra Raut, Independent MLA for Barshi, met Mr. Fadnavis to express his support to the BJP. Mr. Raut defeated Dilip Sopal of the Shiv Sena by 3,076 votes.

Opposition stand

The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) reiterated their stand on the way forward for the formation of the government. The Congress said it was willing to participate in the formation should the Sena break its ties with the BJP on the issue of the Chief Minister’s post. “It is up to the Shiv Sena to decide if they want the chief ministership for a five year period or two-and-a-half years as offered by the BJP. If the Sena approaches us, we will discuss with the high command in New Delhi,” Vijay Wadettiwar, a senior Congress leader, said.

Balasaheb Thorat, president of the Maharashtra Congress Committee, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Baramati to discuss a blueprint for possible government formation.

The NCP has wished both the Sena and the BJP good luck. “I want to make it clear that we will be in the Opposition and play the role of a strong opposition. We do not wish to have any role in government formation. The BJP-Shiv Sena have got the mandate, so best wishes to them,” senior NCP leader Praful Patel said.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:14:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/maharashtra-assembly/senas-mlas-elect-seek-bjps-written-promise/article29807913.ece

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