27 Oct 2019
Maharashtra government formation in limbo as Sena, BJP's showdown continues
Written byShalini OjhaPolitics
When Assembly results were declared for Maharashtra and Haryana on Thursday, it seemed BJP would easily form a government in the former state.
The uncertainty is deepening due to friction between BJP and Shiv Sena.
Here's all about it.
First, let's give you a quick recap of what happened
Before October 21's polls, Sena and BJP inked an alliance. As per the agreement, BJP fielded candidates from 150 seats and Sena from 124. Some junior partners fought on the lotus symbol too.
Notably, BJP won 105 seats, falling way short of the majority mark of 145 seats.
This gave Sena, which won 56 seats, new teeth as BJP had to bargain with it.
After BJP's disappointing performance, Sena demanded more power
Unsurprisingly, Sena was reluctant to contest on fewer seats but somehow agreed to the arrangement.
But after the Uddhav Thackeray-led party understood BJP would need its help to stake a claim, it upped its demands.
Sena asked BJP to honor the 50-50 deal, purportedly signed before polls, according to which Maharashtra will be governed by a Sena CM for 2.5 years.
Reminding of Bal Thackeray's era, Sanjay Raut attacked BJP
In Sena's mouthpiece Saamna, Sanjay Raut wrote, "The Sena won fewer seats this time - 56 compared to 63 in 2014 - but it has the remote control of power."
This served as a redux to Bal Thackeray's era when the term "remote control" was regularly used to explain who actually wields power in the NDA government which governed Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999.
Playing hardball, Sena demanded written assurance from BJP
Yesterday, Sena said that Thackeray should take a written assurance from BJP that the 50-50 deal will be respected.
The decision was taken by 56 MLAs at Matoshree, the Thackeray residence.
"In our meeting, it was decided that like Amit Shah-ji had promised 50-50 formula before Lok Sabha polls, similarly both allies should get a chance to run the government for 2.5-2.5 years," Pratap Sarnaik said.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis reminded BJP is single largest party
As Sena remained adamant, with even Thackeray saying he has to run his party, Fadnavis reminded that BJP is still the single-largest party.
"The mandate is a clear majority for BJP, Shiv Sena, RPI, RSP, Shiv Sangram. The mandate will be respected. No one should have any doubt," he told BJP workers on Saturday, promising the process to form the government will begin after Diwali.
Cornered, Fadnavis might run a minority government
According to TOI, if Sena continues with its antics, Fadnavis might lead a minority government, as he did initially in 2014. However, back then he had NCP's support, so it's doubtful how he plans to stake a claim this time.
A senior BJP leader said, "There is no question of giving the CM's post."
Undoubtedly, the showdown will go on for some time.