Sena to hold CM’s post for full term of MVA govt.: Raut

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Remarking that the question of the Chief Minister’s post remaining with the Shiv Sena was “not negotiable”, Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Sunday said Maharashtra’s top job would remain with his party till the current tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) led by Uddhav Thackeray completed its full five year-term.

Mr. Raut, who is on a party-building tour in north Maharashtra, was speaking in Nashik.

Responding to Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole’s hints that his party could go separately in the local elections and that the Congress would emerge ‘number one’ in the State by 2024, Mr. Raut dispelled all speculation of disgruntlement within the MVA, stressing no one was upset in the coalition.

“In previous coalitions, there may have been sharing of the Chief Minister’s post or negotiations of sharing it between parties... But in the MVA, there is no such thing and the Chief Minister will remain of the Sena [Uddhav Thackeray] for the full five-year term. There can be no negotiations on this point… Even Sharad Pawar has clarified this in his speech on occasion of the NCP’s foundation day recently. While there is no doubt in any of our coalition partners’ [Congress and NCP] minds on this count, this issue is only being raked up repeatedly in the media,” said the Sena MP.

The Sena had broken its alliance with the BJP in 2019 over the issue of the Chief Minister’s post, forming an ideologically opposed coalition instead with the Congress and NCP.

Earlier, addressing Sena workers in Jalgaon, Mr. Raut had hit out against the party’s estranged saffron partner, the BJP, alleging that the Sena always had a secondary status in the previous BJP-Sena government and was treated akin to “slaves”.

“Attempts were also made to finish off our party by misusing the very power which was enjoyed [by the BJP] because of our support…I have always thought that the Sena should get the Chief Minister’s post in Maharashtra and that whatever be the changes on the power equation, the party must never lose its self-respect,” he said.

“There is no resentment within the MVA, nor within the Congress. The three parties came together and formed a government and all three have the right to build their own parties raise their party. There are contenders for the Chief Ministership in every party, not only in the Congress…and there is nothing wrong to hold such aspirations,” he said, adding that Mr. Patole’s statements had to be viewed in the context of the demands and sentiments of the ordinary Congress worker.

Mr. Raut said Mr. Patole, as the party's chief in Maharashtra, had the right to decide to go it alone in the local polls if he thought that was the right course of action.

Meanwhile, in a riposte to Mr. Raut, the BJP’s leader of opposition (LoP) in the Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar, said that the Sena MP was merely putting on a brave face and that the MVA was rife with dissension.

“The NCP is padding-up to stake their claim on the Chief Minister’s post, while Nana Patole’s remarks make it clear that the Congress wants to go it alone in the next Assembly polls,” Mr. Darekar said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 5:17:30 AM |

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