Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday hit out at Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over denial of more time to drum up support for government formation in the state. Claiming that the Sena had asked for 48 hours, but the Governor had given them six months, Thackeray said the Congress, the NCP and his party will work out a formula for formation of the government soon.
The Sena had failed to produce the required letters of support of the NCP and the Congress when it met the Governor Monday night to stake a claim to form the government. The party had informed the Governor that it wanted to form the government and had sought two days’ extension, which was denied.
“Our claim is still there. But it is not a child’s play to run a stable government of a state like Maharashtra. So, we had requested an extension of 48 hours because we didn’t have the letters from the Congress and the NCP. But the Governor was so kind that he has now given us six months. I didn’t understand his mathematics,” Thackeray said. The Sena chief was addressing the media at a resort in Malad (West) where his party MLA-elects have been put up since last Thursday, minutes after the Congress-NCP leadership held a press conference. He said the Sena needs clarity on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), just like the Congress and the NCP if a government is to be formed with their support.
Taking a dig at the BJP for questioning how parties with such different ideologies could come together, Thackeray said: “Everyone is asking this question. I have sought information about how the BJP and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti came together, and how the BJP and Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Chandrababu Naidu, who once said ‘Modi hatao’, came together… Then we will decide how parties with different ideologies can come together and will take our claim about government formation forward.”
Referring to the Congress-NCP press conference, Thackeray said one major thing had come out from it. “They said, I contacted them seeking their support for government only on Monday. It is important because our ally, the BJP, had claimed that we didn’t have time to speak to them… We’re contacting Congress-NCP three times in a day. It was an answer to that.”
Claiming that it was not he who had closed the door on the BJP, Thackeray reiterated that the chief minister’s post for two-and-a-half years was a key to the alliance with the BJP forged just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “I’m angered by the fact they (the BJP) have lied and attempted to portray me as a liar,” he added.
Asked if the BJP was still in touch him, the Sena chief said, “There is no point in the BJP contacting me if new things are being decided every time. Hindutva is our ideology and keeping promises is an integral part of it. You want Ram temple (in Ayodhya), but don’t want to keep promises. Then it can’t be Hindutva.”
Earlier, Thackeray had told party legislators during a meeting at the hotel that they “need not worry” about the President’s rule which was imposed in the state Tuesday evening.
“He assured party legislators that Sena can still form the government with the Congress and the NCP and that the President’s rule didn’t mean the end of the road,” a Sena functionary, who did not wish to be identified, said.
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