National

Maharashtra impasse: Shiv Sena claims support of 175 MLAs

Reaching out: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray interacting with farmers in Aurangabad on Saturday.

Reaching out: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray interacting with farmers in Aurangabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Yogesh Londhe

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Sanjay Raut says party will install its CM, amid rumours of a tie-up with Cong., NCP

The Shiv Sena once again stepped up its rhetoric on Sunday on the issue of government formation and the post of Chief Minister in Maharashtra, with party leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut claiming to have the support of up to 175 MLAs.

Mr. Raut said a Sena Chief Minister would soon take oath at Shivaji Park.

Ten days have passed since results of the Assembly election were declared.A new government must be installed before November 9.

Adding to the sense of crisis, former State Finance Minister and BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar had said on Friday that Maharashtra was headed for Presidential Rule if a government was not installed by November 7.

Despite this, the Shiv Sena seems firm on having its nominee as Chief Minister — possibly Aaditya Thackeray, first-time MLA and son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.

Asked about the BJP starting preparations for a swearing-in ceremony possibly at Wankhede Stadium, Mr. Raut on Sunday told The Hindu: “Wankhede news is just a way of building pressure on us, but it won’t have any effect. Our Chief Minister’s swearing-in will happen in Shivtirth [Shivaji Park].”

Suspense on alliance

Asked whether the Sena would install its Chief Minister by allying with the Congress-NCP, Mr. Raut simply reiterated that it would be a Shiv Sena Chief Minister.

“We will reach a figure of up to 170-175 [legislators]. We will submit a list with majority MLAs [to prove a majority in the Assembly].”

On rumours that NCP chief Sharad Pawar would become the Chief Minister of a Congress-NCP-Sena coalition, Mr. Raut said the rumour was being spread by the BJP.

Speaking to news channels on Sunday, the Sena leader said, “The single largest party has not been able to form government… On one option, discussion is almost over and Uddhav Thackeray is close to a decision.”

Asked about rumours of Sharad Pawar becoming the CM, he said, “Mr. Sharad Pawar is a national leader. For him, this post [CM] is small. In Karnataka, Kumaraswamy has brought proof of Operation Lotus. Even though this is a Karnataka incident, this will not work in Maharashtra. Amit Shah took initiative for a small State like Haryana, but not a big State like Maharashtra — this is mysterious.”

Firm on demand

Asked about media reports of the BJP willing to cede an equal number of portfolios to the Sena but not the Chief Minister’s post, Mr. Raut said, “Sena is not sitting in the market. The issue is of Chief Minister post and the discussion will only happen on that. Otherwise, we will have our own Chief Minister.”

Elaborating on Sunday’s Saamna editorial, Mr. Raut launched an aggressive attack on the BJP and said, “Whoever has misused ED, CBI for making government, it has boomeranged. I have also seen some criminals, who have come out of jail, are now on big posts, have the government’s backing; these goondas have tried a lot to put pressure in 10 days, but it did not work. We will reveal details of all this soon. Some people think they are immortal in politics, you have Home Ministry, based on which you rule. People’s leader does not need this.”

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:30:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/maharashtra-impasse-shiv-sena-claims-support-of-175-mlas/article29872207.ece

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