Shiv Sena hits back with Fadnavis' 'role-sharing' video

Maharashtra power tussle - Shiv Sena brings up an old video of Devendra Fadnavis

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray (L) and BJP's Devendra Fadnavis (R) (PTI Photos)

On the day Maharashtra's BJP candidate from South-West constituency Devendra Fadnavis denied the BJP ever promised to share the chief minister's post with the ally Shiv Sena, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party came up with an old video of the CM in which he purportedly talked about equal sharing of posts and responsibilities in the state government.

Ever since the BJP's tally fell in the recently-held assembly polls, results for which were announced on October 24, the Sena raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties for a period of 2.5 years.

Sena MLAs last week demanded that Thackeray's son Aaditya, a first-time legislator, be made the chief minister.

With the Sena hardening its position, the formal deliberations over the formation of the next government are yet to take-off, despite the BJP and the Thackeray-led party having adequate numbers to cross the halfway mark in the 288-member House.

Breaking his silence on the issue, Fadnavis on Tuesday said BJP chief Amit Shah never promised the CM's post for two-and-a-half years to the Sena when the alliance was formalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Seeking to rebut the Fadnavis' claims, Sena has released a video clip on social media of his press conference dated February 18 this year.

The clip with a caption "Jara Yaad karo Jabani" (Remember the assurance) was put out by Harshal Pradhan, a close aide of Uddhav Thackeray.

"We have decided equal sharing of posts and responsibilities once we come to power again," Fadnavis is quoted as saying in Marathi at the presser to announce tie-up for (Lok Sabha) elections.

Thackeray had last week reminded the BJP of the 50:50 formula "agreed upon" between himself, Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The Sena demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power" before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.

On Tuesday, Fadnavis, who is the only second chief minister in the state to complete the full five-year term, asserted he will be at the helm once again.

In the recent polls to 288-member Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally.

The Sena's tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. A resurgent NCP won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats.

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