BJP, Sena showdown continues in Maharashtra

Representative image. PTI photo

The war-of-words differences over a 50-50 formula and distribution of key portfolios among saffron allies BJP and Shiv Sena are delaying the formation of the next government in Maharashtra.  It appears that the showdown will spill over to the weekend.

It is now a week that results of Maharashtra polls were declared but the two ruling MahaYuti allies are yet to reach a consensus. On Thursday,  after the Shiv Sena elected Eknath Shinde as the legislature party leader, party chief Uddhav Thackeray hardened its stance.  The Sena went a step ahead by appointing Sunil Prabhu as the Chief Whip.

The development, in fact, coincided with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's completion on the office. Immediately after the legislature part meeting at 12 noon,  the Shiv Sena sought an appointment with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari - which came as a bolt to the BJP.

Initially, the meeting was fixed at 3.30 pm,  later rescheduled to 6.30 pm. The Sena delegation comprising Shinde and Prabhu,  Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray and senior Uddhav aides Subhash Desai, Diwakar Raote, Ramdas Kadam and Chandrakant Khaire met the Governor and discussed the loss to farmers because of unseasonal rains.

On Wednesday evening,  after Fadnavis was re-elected BJP's leader of legislature party and set to take over as CM again,  he showered praises for Uddhav and before that he indicated the post of Deputy CM to Sena,  the latter seemed to soften its stance.

"These are all rumours. There is no question of softening stand," Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said,  adding that what was decided in the February meeting between Thackeray and BJP President Amit Shah was spelt out by Fadnavis.

"It is clear (50-50 formula) that he spoke...it includes obviously the post of CM," he said. "If they have options open,  others too have....the MahaYuti contested together and MahayYuti should form the government," senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar said.

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