Up to Sena to fit 'Hindutva' agenda with Congress: BJP

Representative PTI image

The BJP on Wednesday appeared needling its ally-turned-political rival Shiv Sena, which is trying to stitch up a coalition government in Maharashtra with ideologically incompatible Congress and NCP, on "Hindutva".

The Sena is holding deliberations with the Congress and the NCP to rope them in to form a government in the state, which came under President's Rule on Tuesday evening.

"It is up to the Shiv Sena how to fit their 'Hindutva' agenda in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with the Congress," senior BJP leader and Union minister Raosaheb Danve said.

"The Congress, which is a 150-year-old party, will obviously take its agenda further (in government)," he told a news channel.

The Sena often projects itself as a party that propagates Hindutva, which remains an ideological glue between the Uddhav Thackeray-led party and the BJP.

Thackeray on Tuesday night said the Sena needed clarity on the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) just like the Congress and the NCP if a government is to be formed with their support.

Danve also defended Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's decision to not grant additional time to the Sena on Monday night for securing letters of support for staking a claim to form the government. The Sena had moved the supreme court against the governor's decision.

"It is not good to move objection against the governor. He only used his Constitutional right," he said.

Since the President's Rule is in force, the Sena now has enough time to stake claim to form the government, he added.

"If the Sena has numbers they can stake a claim anytime," he said.

Reflecting on his party's strategy, Danve said the people's mandate should be respected. "If that doesn't happen in Maharashtra, we will sit in opposition," he added.

The BJP had blamed the Sena for "insulting" the people's mandate, which it said led to the imposition of President's Rule.

The Central Rule was imposed 19 days after the fractured mandate in the state assembly polls failed to elect a clear winner.

The BJP, which won maximum 105 seats in the 288-member House, declined to stake the claim to form the government, as its alliance partner Shiv Sena (56) refused to lend support.

The third-largest party NCP (54) too couldn't muster requisite numbers. Its ally Congress has 44 members. 

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