Maharashtra CM election 2019: Devendra Fadnavis categorically said that Uddhav Thackeray's party Shiv Sena was never promised the CM's chair for a period of 2.5 years when the alliance was formalised before the Lok Sabha elections.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial candidate Devendra Fadnavis on on Tuesday denied any 50-50 formula agreed between BJP national president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in April-May this year. Breaking his silence on the Shiv Sena’s repeated demand for honouring the 50-50 power-sharing formula, Fadnavis categorically said that Uddhav Thackeray’s party was never promised the CM’s chair for a period of 2.5 years when the alliance was formalised before the general elections.
“Our party president has confirmed nothing has been decided on CM post to Shiv Sena. No formula is decided yet,” Fadnavis said. “I will be Chief Minister for another five years,” the BJP leader who served as the CM of Maharashtra for a full five-year term said.
Though the two parties contested elections together, the Shiv Sena is insisting on a 50-50 formula with the BJP to form the next government in the state. The Shiv Sena had contested elections on 124 seats while the BJP on 164 seats. However, the BJP leaders during the campaign maintained that Fadnavis will continue as the CM for the next five years. According to the Shiv Sena’s claim, Shah, Fadnavis and Uddhav had agreed to the 50:50 formula ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
On the day of the result, the Sena chief had reminded the BJP about the formula which apparently means that his son Aaditya would become the CM for 2.5 years. Aaditya won the elections from the Worli seat. He is also the first member from the Thackeray family to contest elections. On Saturday, the Sena demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing an equal formula for sharing of power before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.
In the just-concluded elections, the BJP won 105 seats, 17 less than from its 2014 tally of 122 when it had contested alone. The Shiv Sena’s tally also came down to 56 from 63 in 2014. The NCP won 54 seats while its partner Congress bagged 44 seats. In the current situation, the BJP and Shiv Sena alliance have a comfortable majority in the 288-member Legislative Assembly. However, the two parties are yet to begin the government formation talks.
Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP of Sharad Pawar have hinted that they are ready to support the Shiv Sena and Aaditya Thackeray’s chief ministerial candidature. If the Shiv Sena chooses to ally with the Congress and NCP, they would command 154 seats, comfortably higher than the required tally of 145 seats for a majority in the 288-member house.