Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has denied the Shiv Sena’s claim that a 50:50 formula was set for forming the government. Fadnavis said in a statement on Tuesday, BJP president Amit Shah made it clear that there was no formula to form a government with the Shiv Sena. He said that no formula to form a government has been decided yet. He said that the government would be formed under the BJP leadership in Maharashtra and he is not happy with the article printed in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana.
Fadnavis said that when the alliance was finalised before the Lok Sabha election, Shiv Sena was not promised the post of chief minister for two and a half years. He said that he would be the chief minister for the next five years.
Sena reacts to Fadnavis: ‘Not hungry for power’
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said that his party had always practised “the politics of truth” and it “is not hungry for power”. In the recently concluded Assembly election in Maharashtra, the BJP won 105 seats while Shiv Sena won 56 seats. There is a dispute between the two allies over the sharing of power in the next government of the state. Raut told reporters here. “(Shiv Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray has said that we have other options too but we do not want to commit the sin of accepting those options… Shiv Sena has always practised the politics of truth and the party is not hungry for power.”
Asked about the delay in forming the next government in Maharashtra despite an alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena, Raut said, “There is no Dushyant (Chautala) in Maharashtra whose father is in jail.”
Raut’s reference was clearly to Dushyant Chautala, the deputy chief minister of Haryana and leader of the Jananayak Janata Party. Raut had said on Monday that his party should not be forced to find alternatives to form the next government in Maharashtra. He also said that “there are no saints in politics.”
The Shiv Sena spokesman claimed that the two parties had agreed on a formula for equal participation in power and an announcement was made in Mumbai. Raut is the chief whip of the Shiv Sena in Parliament and the executive editor of the party’s mouthpiece Saamana.
Another Shiv Sena leader said on Tuesday that four independent MLAs from Melghat, Achalpur, Ramtek and Nevasa seats had met Thackeray and pledged their support to his party. He claimed that the Shiv Sena now has the support of 60 MLAs.
In the Maharashtra Assembly election held on 21 October, the number of BJP MLAs decreased compared to 2014, after which Shiv Sena has been insisting on equal participation in power. Last week, Thackeray reminded the BJP of an agreement between him and BJP president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on a “50:50 formula” before the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The Shiv Sena has sought written assurances from the BJP for the implementation of the formula of “equal participation in power” before talking about claiming to form the next coalition government in the state. In the election for the 288-member Assembly in Maharashtra, BJP got 105 seats and Shiv Sena got 56 seats. The Sharad Pawar-led NCP won 54 seats, while the Congress has 44 seats.
Since the announcement of the election results on 24 October, there have been indications from sections of the Congress-NCP alliance that the Shiv Sena’s move to form a government in the state without the BJP could be turned into reality. However, nothing has been formally said by the Congress-NCP.