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Maharashtra: Shiv Sena moving back and forth on power sharing formula, after softening stand again says will not step back

With every passing day, the BJP appears more and more adamant on its stance, dismissing the continuing jibes by the Shiv Sena on the power balance in the BJP-Sena alliance.

The BJP and its ally, Shiv Sena are locked in a bitter tussle over sharing of power in the next Maharashtra government. While Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had upped the ante over the ’50-50′ agreement he claims to have with the BJP, almost immediately after the Assembly elections results were announced, its senior leader Sanjay Raut has been seen swaying back and forth when it comes to his reaction on the issue.

Today while talking about Shiv Sena’s stand on the 50-50 formula for government formation in Maharashtra, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said: “We will not step back from our stand. If anyone has gone back on their promise, it is our ally. We will continue to move forward with our demand”.

This is contrary to the softened stand he had taken yesterday on the demand for rotational chief ministers and 50:50 power-sharing, wherein he blamed the media for raking up the issue.

To a question on whether the Shiv Sena was adamant on implementing the equal power-sharing formula, Raut has said: “You (the media) are saying this. We only want things to be done according to what has been decided earlier,” contending that it was necessary for the party to stay in the BJP-led alliance in the larger interest of Maharashtra, but without compromising on “respect”.

Raut further added that, “Individuals are not important but state’s interest is important. Decisions need to be taken in a calm manner and keeping in mind the state’s interest.” This statement was a climb down from his previous statements which have come in, in the last couple of days.

He had earlier insisted that BJP chief Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had discussed the 2.5-years rotational chief ministerial tenure during their alliance talks in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. “(Sena president) Uddhav Thackerayji has said we have other options too, but we don’t want to do the sin of accepting that alternative…the Shiv Sena has practised politics of truth, the party is not hungry for power,” Raut told reporters here on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Raut on Monday had said that his party should not be compelled to look for an alternative to form the next government in Maharashtra and asserted there are “no saints in politics”. He claimed the two parties had agreed on an “equal power” sharing formula and had even made an announcement on it in Mumbai.

Asked as to what would happen if BJP were to renege on the power-sharing formula agreed between the two frenemies, Raut had vociferously said on October 28 that “You can tear a paper but you can’t delete this record”.

Also Read: Have other options if BJP doesn’t agree to 50-50 formula: Shiv Sena ups its ante in Maharashtra, attempts to negotiate with BJP

“BJP evokes the 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)”, Raut had said while reiterating his party’s demand for an equal share of power in Maharashtra.

However, with every passing day, the BJP appears more and more adamant on its stance, dismissing the continuing jibes by the Shiv Sena on the power balance in the BJP-Sena alliance. Commenting on remarks made in Sena mouthpiece Saamna, incumbent CM Fadnavis said, “Saamana’s role is to derail talks. Shiv Sena may also want CM post for 5 years, wanting something and getting something are two different things. There was never any promise on CMs post in the 50:50 formula. They should come with demands, we will discuss those on merit when we sit for talks.”

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.

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