BJP's Mungantiwar confident of forming govt with Sena

BJP's Mungantiwar confident of forming govt with Sena

Even as the tussle between the Shiv Sena and BJP over power sharing continues, BJP's Sudhir Mungantiwar expressed confidence on Saturday that the new government will be in place in Maharashtra before November 10.

Mungantiwar, who faced ire of ally Shiv Sena over his statement that there could be President's rule if the present impasse following the assembly elections did not end, also said that the saffron allies must respect people's mandate.

The term of the existing 13th legislative assembly of Maharashtra ends on November 9.

Speaking to reporters in Chandrapur, Mungantiwar said swearing-in of the new government will take place on November 6 or 7.

"It is the duty of the BJP and Shiv Sena to respect the mandate. How to share ministerial berths can be worked out through discussions," he said.

The BJP was ready for talks, he added.

Reacting to the editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Saturday morning which blasted him for giving the "threat" of President's rule, Mungantiwar said there was no need for the Sena to see red, as he only stated what the Constitution provides for if there is no government.

"If the tiger (which is the Sena's mascot) is growling, I am forest minister, and we know how to preserve and conserve the tiger. We will take the tiger along," he said.

The Saamana editorial attacked Mungantiwar for his statement that Maharashtra may head for President's rule if new government was not formed by November 7, and asked if the "President is in your pocket".

But a few hour later, Sena MP Sanjay Raut, the executive editor of the Saamana, softened his tone.

"The Sena contested assembly elections in an alliance (with the BJP) and we would adhere to the coalition dharma till the last moment," he told reporters.

Raut was reacting to fellow Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader Hussain Dalwai's letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi stating that the party should support the Sena if it proposed to form government on its own.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil chaired a meeting of state BJP leaders in Mumbai.

He has prayed to Goddess Ambabai of Kolhapur for end of the impasse over government formation, Patil told reporters after the meeting.

"Our leadership is capable of dealing with this impasse," he said.

Another state BJP leader and Union minister Raosaheb Danve said Mungantiwar's statement about President's rule was not meant to be a threat.