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Home » Amid Shiv Sena’s clamour, BJP asserts Maha CMship is non-negotiable | India News
TimesofIndia

Amid Shiv Sena’s clamour, BJP asserts Maha CMship is non-negotiable | India News

MUMBAI: On a day home minister and BJP chief Amit Shah called up Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to congratulate him on the BJP-Sena’s victory in the Maharashtra assembly polls and said they would discuss power-sharing after Diwali, BJP sources said the question of chief ministership was not on the table despite Uddhav’s insistence on the “50:50” formula, which means equal distribution of portfolios and sharing of the CM’s post for 2.5 years each.
Sources close to CM Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP would not accept the Sena’s demand for sharing of the top post as it had won 105 seats and “secured the support of 10 Independents”, and if the Sena (56 seats) asked for the post for the first 2.5 years of the new government, the BJP would rather not enter into a deal with it at all.
The Sena, however, took a jibe at the BJP with its mouthpiece Saamna saying “power and largescale defections cannot crush the opposition” and the paper’s executive editor Sanjay Raut posted on Twitter a cartoon of a smiling tiger, with a clock (NCP symbol) adorning its neckline and a lotus in its hand. Raut’s comment with it was “Bura naa maano Diwali hai.”
Newly elected Sena legislators, who visited the Thackeray residence Matoshree on Friday, insisted that Aaditya Thackeray, who won his debut poll from Worli on Thursday, should become the CM. Sena’s Prakash Surve, who retained his Magathane seat, told TOI, “We demanded Aadityaji should lead the state cabinet.”
Reports in a section of the media on the likelihood of Congress and NCP extending support to Sena to form the government too created a flutter in the state’s political circles on Friday afternoon before they were dismissed by state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat, who said his party and NCP had no such plans.
BJP sources said CM Fadnavis, who led the party’s campaign in Maharashtra, had taken the view that the party had won more than 100 seats for the second consecutive time, so there was no question of giving in to the Sena’s demands.
Sources said at the most, the question of distribution of ministerial berths could be discussed and settled. “The Sena may demand portfolios held by the BJP between 1995 and 1999, when Sena and BJP were in power. The BJP then held the home, irrigation, finance, public works and energy departments. Except for the home department, the CM might be willing to looking into it,” the sources noted.
However, a BJP functionary questioned the validity of the 1995 power-sharing formula. “In 1995, the Sena-BJP alliance government had the post of deputy CM, and that leader had the home portfolio. This was when Sena had 73 seats and BJP 65, so the difference in numbers was very small. Now the BJP has 105 seats and the Sena 56, almost 50 less than BJP. How can the Sena then expect the same old formula?”
Pramod Olekar, a political analyst, said the Sena may be employing pressure tactics in order to get plum portfolios. “The Sena will get a few key portfolios no doubt,” he said. He added that the Sena may be willing to accept the deputy CM’s post and some key portfolios.

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