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Maharashtra govt formation: In touch with BJP, Congress & NCP, says Uddhav Thackeray

The Indian Express learnt from Sena functionaries and legislators present at a meeting called to elect the party’s legislative leader that Uddhav said he wants “equal power sharing”, including for the CM’s post, “as was decided before the Lok Sabha polls” with BJP.

Maharashtra govt formation: In touch with BJP, Congress & NCP, says Uddhav Thackeray Devendra Fadnavis (R), with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (File)

INSISTING ON an “equal power sharing” formula with the BJP for government formation in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday upped the ante by declaring that he was in touch with Congress and NCP as well, appearing to signal that he was prepared to explore other options.

The Indian Express learnt from Sena functionaries and legislators present at a meeting called to elect the party’s legislative leader that Uddhav said he wants “equal power sharing”, including for the CM’s post, “as was decided before the Lok Sabha polls” with BJP.

“The equal power sharing formula was decided before Lok Sabha polls between me, (BJP national president) Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. We want things to be as was decided and nothing more than that,” Uddhav said at the meeting.

Read | Amid spar with BJP, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut meets Sharad Pawar

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The Sena chief also remarked that no one could make a “permanent claim” on the CM chair. “I am in touch with BJP, Congress and NCP,” said Uddhav.

BJP shiv sena fight, maharashtra assembly elections results 2019, maharashtra govt formation, devendra fadnavis, uddhav thackeray, Congress, NCP Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray and senior party leaders at a meeting with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai on Thursday. (ANI)

As if to drive the point home, on Thursday evening, Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut met NCP chief Sharad Pawar. Describing it as “courtesy visit”, Raut told The Indian Express, “I keep meeting Pawarsaheb… This time, I went to greet him on Diwali.”

Asked whether the Sena was looking for support from the NCP to form the government, Raut refused to divulge the nature of discussions between the two. He, however, said: “I think our party chief has already made things clear… he has clearly said that all options are open…”

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On senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan’s remarks that the party was waiting for a proposal from the Sena, Raut said Uddhav had already clarified who he was in touch with.

At the meeting on Thursday, Uddhav is also said to have expressed his displeasure over Fadnavis’ remarks that no equal power sharing formula was decided ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and asked Sena legislators to watch a video of the chief minister addressing the media in February after forging the alliance with Sena. “He can be seen talking about equal power sharing formula. We just want them to keep their word,” said Uddhav.

A senior leader said the BJP was trying to convey the impression that the Sena chief was lying. “It is not acceptable to us. How can they show our leader in bad light? So, Uddhav clearly said that the Sena has other options open, including that of the NCP and the Congress.”

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Meanwhile, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said that Fadnavis publicly used the word “equal power sharing” while addressing the media before the Lok Sabha polls. “Now, if anybody is saying that the CM post was not included, then we need to write new lessons of political science. Equal power sharing includes all,” it said.

It added that the BJP broke the alliance with Sena after its victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls under the leadership of Narendra Modi. “Now, the BJP has started another chapter after getting a similar victory in 2019, but we will not fall for it,” the editorial said.
“If anybody feels that the CM post is not a seat of power or it is not possible to share it, why is everyone across the country after such a non-significant post?” it asked.  —(WITH INPUTS FROM MANOJ MORE, PUNE)

First published on: 01-11-2019 at 01:23:51 am
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