The Shiv Sena is at loggerheads with the BJP over the demand for rotational chief ministership which the BJP has ruled out completely.
Maharashtra govt formation news: Days after extending the olive branch to the Shiv Sena by offering to support a government with a Shiv Sena leader as the Chief Minister, the Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar has reportedly set out conditions to the BJP’s estranged ally. Prominent among these conditions is the inclusion of one Deputy Chief Minister from its party and support of the Congress from outside.
In the election results that were declared on October 24, the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party with 105 seats in the 288-member Assembly while the Shiv Sena, which contested elections in alliance with the BJP, finished second with 56 seats. The NCP and the Congress finished third and fourth with 54 and 44 seats, respectively.
A report by News18, citing senior sources in the NCP, said that the party has put forth some significant conditions before the Shiv Sena to support its government. The NCP has demanded that Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arvind Sawant, the lone Shiv Sena leader who is part of the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, must quit the government.
While the NCP has said a Chief Minister from the Shiv Sena is acceptable to it, it has now said that the government should make space for two Deputy Chief Ministers, one of whom shall have to be from the NCP. The Shiv Sena is at loggerheads with the BJP over the demand for rotational chief ministership which the BJP has ruled out completely.
If the Shiv Sena decides to finally part ways with the BJP and join the alliance of the Congress and NCP, it risks losing credibility and its claim to Hindutva politics. The NCP and the Congress are not exactly seen on the same page ideologically as opposed to the Shiv Sena’s brand of politics. The NCP is learnt to have conveyed to the Sena that it will support the Supreme Court’s verdict in the matter and that the Ram Mandir issue will not be a problem between them.
The NCP’s definitive outreach to the Shiv Sena comes a day after party supremo met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the national capital and discussed the matter. While there were conflicting reports on the outcome of the meeting, the NCP has managed to put the Shiv Sena on notice by setting out conditions for the government formation.
With barely four days to go before President’s rule is imposed, which way the Shiv Sena goes is anybody’s guess.