BJP adds fresh twist to Maharashtra’s power battle, says 45 Shiv Sena MLAs in touch with Devendra Fadnavis

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Updated: October 29, 2019 3:23:42 PM

BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade has claimed that at least 45 of the 56 MLAs of the Shiv Sena are in touch with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Devendra Fadnavis, Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena, BJP, Maharashtra govt formationDevendra Fadnavis has rejected Shiv Sena’s 50:50 formula for CM post. (File Photo)

Amid the ongoing tussle between the BJP and Shiv Sena over government formation in Maharashtra, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade has claimed that at least 45 of the 56 MLAs of the Shiv Sena are in touch with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He claimed that majority of the Shiv Sena MLAs want the two saffron parties to form the government at the earliest.

Exuding confidence that the BJP and Shiv Sena will sit across the table and start work on the modalities to form the government, he said, “45 newly-elected MLAs in Shiv Sena are in touch with Chief Minister and want alliance government to be formed. I think a few of these 45 MLAs will convince Uddhav Thackeray and form a government with Devendra Fadnavis as CM. I don’t think there is any other option.”

Also Read: No 50-50 formula with Shiv Sena, Devendra Fadnavis says Maharashtra to get BJP-led government

“Out of 56, there are 45 MLAs who have expressed their interest in government formation along with the BJP. They are calling and asking us to induct them into the government,” he added.

The BJP leader further said that the Shiv Sena MLAs have been saying “do whatever, but we want to be part of the government with BJP”. The BJP MP’s claims come at a time when the Shiv Sena warned the BJP to not “compel” it to look for other options.

The BJP and Shiv Sena have 105 and 56 seats, respectively, in the 288-member Legislative Assembly. A party or an alliance needs the support of 145 MLAs to form the government. However, the two parties are locked in a bitter battle over sharing of power.

The Shiv Sena is insisting that the BJP to accept the 50-50 power sharing formula which it claims was decided between BJP president Amit Shah, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray ahead of the general elections this year. However, outgoing CM Fadnavis on Tuesday categorically rejected any such agreement, claiming there was no 50-50 formula decided between the two parties and that he will continue as the CM of Maharashtra for five years.

Fadnavis that if Uddhav Thackeray asks him to give the deputy CM post to his son Aaditya, he would welcome it. According to Shiv Sena, the leadership of the two parties had decided equal sharing of power in Maharashtra if they return to power. This would in effect translate into Uddhav’s son Aaditya, who won from Worli, serving as the CM for 2.5 years.

On last Wednesday, the day result was announced, Uddhav Thackeray at a press conference reminded the BJP of the 50-50 formula agreed upon between himself, Shah and Fadnavis. On Saturday, the party demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing “equal formula for sharing of power” before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.

The tenure of the current Maharashtra Legislative Assembly expires on November 9 and a new government should take before that. If the BJP and Shiv Sena fail to form the government, the President’s rule will come into effect automatically.

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