Maharashtra government formation: Shiv Sena sets terms, will talk only to Amit Shah

Despite faring worse than in 2014, the Shiv Sena continues to enjoy greater clout in the Mahayuthi.

October 25, 2019 03:23 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 07:01 am IST - NEW DELHI

Vantage point:  Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at a press conference at Sena Bhavan on Thursday.

Vantage point: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at a press conference at Sena Bhavan on Thursday.

The BJP’s parliamentary board has authorised party president Amit Shah to speak to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on the shape of the coalition government in Maharashtra after Thursday’s Assembly election results. 

The choice of negotiator from the BJP was conveyed by senior Shiv Sena leaders to the BJP, who said talks should be held at the “top level” and not, as had become the case, between BJP State leaders and Mr. Thackeray. This is one of the terms the Sena — in a strange position of having done worse than in 2014 in terms of numbers but enjoying greater clout in the  mahayuti  — has put before the BJP.

The second, and most important condition, is that of having rotational chief ministership: the BJP will have its Chief Minister for the first two-and-a-half years and the Shiv Sena for the rest of the term. Sources in the Sena said both the senior Thackeray and son Aaditya are adamant about this. Mr. Thackeray told a few well-wishers that he too “needed to run my party” and is not settling for anything less than the 50-50 formula.

Tough elections

The Shiv Sena is determined to stick to its guns and says that it was only fitting since through the elections, ally BJP too had not spared it.

“Nearly 12 Independents who got elected are either BJP or Shiv Sena rebels, and there were more than 30 seats in which rebels spoilt the show for  mahayuthi . In the seat sharing, we were given seats which were legacy seats for the Congress or Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In most cases, we were facing off against the NCP and the mobilisation of the previously somnolent NCP after the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) notice to Sharad Pawar hurt us directly,” said a source.

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