BJP gets 50-50 deal dare from Sena

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray

The Shiv Sena on Saturday demanded a written assurance from the BJP on the implementation of the 50-50 power sharing ratio, with the party setting it as a precondition for the initiation of talks on government formation. 

The decision to up the ante came after 56 newly-elected MLAs called on Uddhav at Matoshree, the Bandra bungalow of the Thackeray family on Saturday.

The MLAs demanded a 50-50 power sharing ratio and the terms be laid down in black and white. Some also backed party president Uddhav Thackeray’s son, Aditya, who was elected from Worli, for the post of the CM. Aditya was the first Thackeray to contest polls.

The Sena MLAs authorised Uddhav to take a final call on the modalities,  terms and conditions of the negotiations.

Thackeray told the new MLAs that he is committed to “Hindutva ideology” and is not exploring other options.

After the meeting, senior Shiv Sena leader Pratap Sarnaik said that unless there is a written assurance from BJP, seat sharing talks would not start. 

“It was decided that the central leadership of the BJP should honour the pact of 50-50 power sharing agreement, including sharing the post for two-and-a-half-years each...We want this in writing,” said Sarnaik, an MLA from Ovala-Majiwada.

He said that the power sharing agreement was decided at a meeting between Uddhav and Shah ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Guhagar MLA Bhaskar Jadhav, who left the NCP ahead of polls, said the post of Chief Minister has to be split into two terms.

Sillod MLA Abdul Sattar, who joined the Sena fold from the Congress, demanded Aaditya Thackeray to be made the Chief Minister. “But the final call would be of Uddhav ji,” he said.

The BJP and Shiv Sena leadership have decided to start the formal process of government formation after the completion of Diwali festivities. 

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