Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Sunday said people of Maharashtra will come to know in the coming days whether his party will be in power or not. “You will come to know in the coming days if the Shiv Sena will be in power,” PTI quoted Thackeray as saying in reply to a reporter’s query at a press conference in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad.
Thackeray, who was in the district to take stock of the crop losses due to unseasonal rain in last month, also said that the Rs 10,000 relief package announced by the state government for the damages to the crops was not enough. Taking a dig at the relief at the current state leadership, he said, “Review of damages cannot be done from helicopter. The Rs 10,000 crore for crop losses due to unseasonal rains is very less.” Thackeray said the affected farmers should get a compensation of Rs 25,000.
He also demanded that the central government should explain the benefits of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). “What are the terms and conditions we are agreeing before signing the agreement tomorrow and how it will benefit the country. I think the issue hasn’t been discussed in Parliament,” he remarked. The RCEP consisting of 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.
Even as the BJP continues to adopt a “wait and watch” approach before making any moves for government formation, the Shiv Sena has come up with what it said was the best option and “in the interest of Maharashtra.” The option in the current situation, the party said, was the possibility of Shiv Sena joining hands with Congress, NCP and others to form the government.
“After BJP fails to prove its majority in the House, the Shiv Sena can stake the claim for forming the government. With the help of NCP, Congress and independents, majority figure will go up to 170. Shiv Sena can have its own Chief Minister and will have to show courage to run the government,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut in his column, Rok Thok, published in party mouthpiece, Saamana, today.
Raut said for Sena government to come into being, three parties with different ideologies will have to come together and form a minimum common programme. “The way Atal Bihari Vajyapee ran his government, we all will have to take it forward…This is in the interest of Maharashtra,” he said.
In all, Raut in his column suggested five options.
His first option is about BJP forming the government by keeping Sena out. “BJP has 105 MLAs. It requires 40 more. If it fails to get that number, the government will fall. Getting 40 more is looking impossibile…,” he said.
The second option included NCP supporting BJP. “In this scenario, Supriya Sule will become a minister in the Centre and Ajit Pawar in state. But like the mistake he made in 2014, the possibility of its repeat is not at all there this time. Pawar has received success in the elections for it anti-BJP stance and people of Maharashtra backed him to the hilt. Today, he is at the pinnacle of success. His success otherwise will go for a toss…”
In another option, BJP and Shiv Sena, as a last resort, might form a government. “For this to happen, both will have to take four steps backwards. They will have to consider Shiv Sena’s demands, will have to divide chief minister’s tenure. This is the only best alternative. But because of ‘ego’, it will not take effect.
In the last option, Raut said BJP might use ED, police and money and trigger defections to form the government. “It will have to give ministership to an ED representative. However, it is not easy to to get majority and chief ministership by resorting to defections as voters have shown such people their place. In all this, Modi’s image will be in tatters,” Raut said.
In his column, Raut said, “In 2104, Shiv Sena joined BJP in the government, but this time we will not make any fuss and can not be dragged into the government. We have shut doors on unnecessary discussions. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has already given a clear message: If you can form a government without us, go ahead and become the CM.”
Meanwhile, at his 10 am press conference in Mumbai today, Raut claimed that Sena can prove majority and its Chief Minister will take oath at Shiv Teerth in Shivaji Park. “We can prove majority as we have the support of as many as 175 MLAs,” he said.
Stating that “Operation Lotus” will not work in Maharashtra, Raut said,”The misuse of ED, CBI is going to boomerang…even goons don’t resort to such tactics.”
Raut said BJP president Amit Shah rushes to a Haryana which is a much smaller state compared to Maharashtra to resolve the government formation issue. “However, he doesn’t come to Maharashtra which is a mystery,” he said.
Reacting to this, BJP MP Raosaheb Danve said, “People of Maharashtra have given the mandate to BJP and Shiv Sena to form the government. If this does not happen, then it will an insult of voters of Maharashtra. ”
BJP Minister Girish Mahajan said, “Let Raut say what he wants to… We have adopted a wait and watch approach. “