Besides Athawale, Maharashtra minister Sadabhau Khot, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha leader Mahadev Jankar and Shiv Sangram's Vinayak Mete were present on the occasion.
Union minister and RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Saturday gave a thumbs down to Aaditya Thackeray, who is being projected by the Shiv Sena as the chief ministerial face, for being a greenhorn in Maharashtra politics. Athawale instead suggested that Sena president and Aaditya’s father Uddhav Thackeray think of occupying the top post when there is opportunity in future. The Union minister made the remarks after he called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari along with other allies of the BJP requesting him to invite the Amit Shah-led party to form government in Maharashtra.
Besides Athawale, Maharashtra minister Sadabhau Khot, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha leader Mahadev Jankar and Shiv Sangram’s Vinayak Mete were present on the occasion. Speaking to reporters after emerging from the meeting, Athawale asked the Sena to not insist on the BJP to share the chief minister’s post for two-and-half years.
Athawale noted that the government formation was getting delayed due to the Sena and the BJP bickering over the top post. He said farmers are troubled due to unseasonal rains in various parts of the state. “It will be wrong if the Shiv Sena joins hands with the Congress or the NCP. As per norms, the Governor has the right to invite the single largest party to form government. “He (Governor) also said it should be done soon. He said he will use the right if no clear majority proposal is made to him,” the minister said.
Athawale said during the 15-year rule of the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra, the chief minister’s post went to the party which had won the maximum number of seats. In Haryana too, BJP’s Manohar Lal Khattar retained the chief minister’s post, while Dushyant Chautala of Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which won fewer seats, has become his deputy, Athawale observed.
“This experiment of (sharing the chief ministerial post for) two-and-half years has not been made in the country. Hence, I think, the Shiv Sena should not make such a demand.” “My suggestion is, in future Uddhav ji should think of becoming chief minister. Aaditya is there, but he does not have that experience yet. How will the state run if Aaditya is made the chief minister?” he asked.
Aaditya became the first Thackeray to enter the poll fray since the formation of the party in 1960s. In recent elections, he won from Worli seat in Mumbai. The BJP and the Sena are locked in a bitter battle over sharing of power in the next government. The bone of contention is Sena’s demand for the post of chief minister on a rotational basis with the BJP and adhering to a “50:50 formula” for allocating ministries.
Both these demands were rejected by the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the October 21 assembly elections though with a weakened tally. The BJP won 105 seats in the polls followed by ally Sena (56), the NCP (54) and the Congress (44) in the 288-member Assembly.