BJP gets support of independent MLAs in Haryana; Shiv Sena plays hardball in Maharashtra

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Published: October 25, 2019 8:25 PM

The BJP parliamentary board had on Thursday authorised Shah to take all decisions on the formation of new governments in the two states. Talks with Sena at the top level may happen after Diwali, sources said.

BJP, MLA, Haryana,  Shiv Sena, Maharashtra, Haryana election result, Manohar Lal Khattar, J P NaddaAccording to sources, Khattar is likely to stake claim on Saturday to form government in the state following a meeting of the BJP legislative party in Chandigarh.

The BJP on Friday inched closer to form the government in Haryana after garnering the support of at least seven independent MLAs but a trickier balancing act awaits the party in Maharashtra where its ally Shiv Sena is playing hardball by demanding an equal share in the new dispensation. Sources said BJP president Amit Shah may hold parleys with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to hammer out a deal before the saffron alliance stakes claim to form the government in the western state.

The BJP parliamentary board had on Thursday authorised Shah to take all decisions on the formation of new governments in the two states. Talks with Sena at the top level may happen after Diwali, sources said.

Moving swiftly to ensure the support of a majority of MLAs in Haryana after its tally fell to 40 in the 90-member assembly, senior BJP leaders, including its working president J P Nadda, held parleys with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and other senior leaders. The party has received support of seven independent MLAs.

According to sources, Khattar is likely to stake claim on Saturday to form government in the state following a meeting of the BJP legislative party in Chandigarh. Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP general secretary Arun Singh will attend the legislative party meeting as central observers, In Maharashtra, the BJP’s job is all about placating its ally Sena.

Though the saffron alliance has won a comfortable majority by winning 161 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, the BJP’s dependence on its partner is much more now as it won only 105 seats against the 122 it has in the outgoing assembly. Sena’s tally also fell to 56 from 63 but its clout has increased due to the more crucial role it will have in the stability of the future NDA government.

Thackeray on Thursday had reminded the BJP about the formula arrived at during his meeting with Shah ahead of Lok Sabha polls, and said they had decided on a fifty-fifty formula for the alliance in the state. “We agreed to contest fewer seats (than the BJP), but I cannot accommodate the BJP every time. I should allow my party to grow,” Thackeray said.

Keeping up the heat on its senior partner, Sena in its mouthpiece said there was no “maha janadesh” as the BJP had claimed before the results were announced and that the outcome was in fact a rap on the knuckles for those high on “arrogance of power”. Sena MP Sanjay Raut posted a cartoon that shows a tiger (his party’s symbol) wearing a clock locket (NCP’s party symbol) sniffing a lotus (BJP’s party symbol).

Though he indicated that the cartoon was posted in jest, the message was not lost on anyone as Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan had said earlier that his party should explore all options to keep the BJP out of power. The Congress has an alliance with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP in the state.

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