Shiv Sena on Monday reiterated its demand for an equal share of power in Maharashtra and asked the BJP to "speak the truth on the 50:50 power sharing formula" agreed between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray.
The demand by Sena MP Sanjay Raut came shortly after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and senior Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote met state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, amid the ongoing tussle between the ruling alliance partners over forming the next state government.
A Raj Bhawan official said the meetings were "courtesy calls" by the two leaders, who met Koshyari separately. Raut also told a TV channel that there was "nothing political" in Raote's meeting with the governor.
Asked what would happen if the BJP were to renege on the power sharing formula agreed between a meeting of Shah, Uddhav and Fadnavis ahead of this year's Lok Sabha polls, Raut said, "BJP evokes name of Ram. You (BJP) are going to build the Ram temple. Ram was 'satyavachani' (embodiment of truth), so they should speak the truth on this (formula)".
"You can tear a paper but you can't delete this record (of the power sharing formula agreement between BJP and Sena)," Raut said.
Earlier on Monday, the Sena borrowed a famous dialogue from blockbuster movie 'Sholay' to target the Centre over the economic slowdown, seeking to know why there was so much "silence" in markets on Diwali and wondered if worse days were ahead.
"...Itna sannata kyon hai bhai?" (why is there so much silence) is the question resonating everywhere on "silence" over the future of the country and Maharashtra, the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
A BJP leader said the "caustic" Saamana editorial and Raut's remarks have created "bitterness" ahead of Shah's Mumbai visit on Wednesday.
As the BJP's tally went down in the October 21 state Assembly elections, compared to its 2014 performance, Sena has been raising a pitch for "equal sharing" of power.
Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday reminded the BJP of the 50:50 formula "agreed upon" between himself, BJP president Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
On Saturday, 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.
In the just concluded state 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.