As BJP moves towards its second term in Maharastra, Shiv Sena which had announced in February to continue as BJP ally is now driving a hard bargain. After the Thursday Assembly elections result, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray has upped the ante over the ’50-50′ agreement he claims to have with the BJP.
After felicitating the new-elected Shiv Sena MLAs, the party supremo on Saturday told them that he has more alternatives to forming a government in Maharashtra if his demands were not met by BJP.
“The Shiv Sena and the BJP will form a government, keeping Hindutva as the central agenda. However, the government will be formed only on the basis of the 50-50 agreement that the BJP top leadership had promised. If they fail to do that, let me tell you, we have other alternatives before us,” Uddhav said today.
Though the Sena chief did not specify his ‘other choices’, he reminisced that the BJP had promised the 50-50 formula even before the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. “And now for the post of the Chief Minister, unless the BJP clears the matter before us, that too in writing, we will not go ahead with any decision regarding the formation of the government,” Uddhav Thackeray said.
The Shiv Sena is demanding priority for its MLAs in the government’s Cabinet that is to be formed in the state Assembly.
Soon after the results were out, Uddhav Thackeray in a press conference had blustered that same discourse. Citing a pre-poll agreement with the BJP, Thackeray had said that based on the 50-50 formula agreed upon, inter-party discussions should be held and on that basis, Chief Minister of the state would be decided.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said that in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, he and BJP president Amit Shah had hammered out a “50-50 formula” based on which the two parties had agreed to select the next chief minister of Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackeray said, “It is now time to remind everyone about the formula and implement it.”
Though Thackeray had not divulged the modalities of his party’s agreed formula with the BJP, he did say that if need be, Home Minister Amit Shah will himself come to get the things sorted. Rumours are rife that the agreement between the two frenemies was about sharing the chief ministerial position for a period of 2.5 years. There are also rumours that say that the 50-50 formula may allude to the equal number of ministries in the cabinet for the two parties.
The BJP won 105 seats, and Shiv Sena 56 in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. While BJP is insisting that Devendra Fadnavis continues on the CM post, Shiv Sena wants to go ahead with the ’50:50′ formula agreed between the two parties prior to polls. With this discord, the fate of Devendra Fadnavis as the Maharashtra Chief Minister, as of now, hangs in the balance.