Shiv Sena to work out common minimum programme with Congress, NCP

We had asked for 48 hours, Governor has now given us six months, says Uddhav Thackeray

November 13, 2019 01:37 am | Updated 01:37 am IST - Mumbai

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, son Aaditya and other leaders at a press conference after a meeting with party MLAs at a resort in Madh Island on Tuesday.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, son Aaditya and other leaders at a press conference after a meeting with party MLAs at a resort in Madh Island on Tuesday.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday clarified that the party will work out a common minimum program with the Congress and NCP. He said he would also study unusual alliances in the country for information. He maintained that Sena’s claim to form a government still stays and that it is the BJP that caused their alliance to fall apart.

After Shiv Sena MLAs started celebrations at their Madh island resort on Monday in anticipation of their party forming the government, legislators and karyakartas were in a state of confusion on Tuesday.

Several Shiv Sainiks expressed fears about allying with Congress-NCP, especially after speculations of a CM from the NCP started doing the rounds.

“We are all eagerly awaiting some news from our party. News channels are showing that there might be an NCP CM in the State, there is nothing concrete from Congress either. Our minister in the Union government has already resigned. We are just waiting for some news,” said a Sena MLA on condition of anonymity on Tuesday morning.

As news of President’s Rule being imposed in the State came in the evening, Mr. Thackeray, along with son Aaditya and other senior Sena leaders, went to the resort for a meeting with party MLAs. Before the meeting, he excused himself “to make two-three calls”.

After the meeting, there was speculation of Mr. Thackeray having told legislators that BJP is trying to get in touch with Shiv Sena.

A Shiv Sena MLA on condition of anonymity said, “Uddhavji has told us in the meeting that BJP is also getting back in touch. If they agree to share CM post and equal sharing of power, we might go with them. It now depends on who reaches out to us first. In case both reach out to us, we will go with BJP as that will be our first preference. Uddhavji told us to stay calm and keep patience. He also told us that even in President’s Rule, we can form government. We all want Uddhavji as our CM.”

However, Mr Thackeray soon held a press conference wherein he clarified that it is BJP who has closed doors on the alliance option.

He said, “They have finished that option, not me. They approached me before Lok Sabha elections this year for an alliance. Whatever was decided, I simply wanted it’s implementation. BJP trying to prove me a liar is angering. Chandrakant Patil said BJP does not want to form government and has given us best wishes to go with Congress-NCP. We still consider BJP a friend. How can we not take the path they have shown us (to go with Congress-NCP)? Hindutva is our ideology. Not fulfilling promises is not Hindutva. Politics might be going in a new direction now. Let us wait.”

Mr. Thackeray also used a point from the Congress-NCP press conference to prove that he had only gotten in touch with the two parties on Monday.

“BJP had said that Shiv Sena was talking to Congress-NCP thrice a day since elections but today, in the joint press conference, it is clear that Sena contacted Congress-NCP for first time only yesterday. On some issues, like Congress-NCP, Shiv Sena also wants clarity. That is why we had asked for 48 hours time. But instead, Governor gave us six months. Now, Sena, Congress-NCP will sit together and work on a common minimum program.”

He further said, “I am looking at alliances such as PDP-BJP and others and compiling that information. BJP had also allied with Chandrababu Naidu, Nitish Kumar, Ramvilas Paswan. Based on this information, we will decide how parties with different ideologies will come together.”

Mr. Thackeray said, “Our claim to form government, that we presented before Governor, still stays the same.” He also thanked party MP Arvind Sawant, who resigned from his post of Union Minister of Heavy Industries.

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