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Devendra Fadnavis in Delhi to meet Amit Shah

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis is in New Delhi on Monday to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the ongoing tussle between BJP and its ally Shiv Sena over government formation in Maharashtra. The two parties are caught in a stalemate o...

Updated: Nov 05, 2019, 07.45 AM IST
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Shiv Sena is not obstacle in Maharashtra government formation: Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena is not obstacle in Maharashtra government formation: Sanjay Raut
New Delhi | Mumbai: The uncertainty over formation of the next ministry in Maharashtra continued 11 days after the results were announced amid the mind games of the big four political parties in the state. The BJP has decided not to bow to the pressure tactics of the Shiv Sena and adopt a wait-and-watch policy, according to party insiders. It has not held talks with the Sena since the latter called off negotiations on October 29.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who met home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday, claimed that the meeting was to discuss farmers’ issues while adding a new ministry would be formed soon.

Fadnavis is staying back in New Delhi to hold discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his return from Thailand. Fadnavis also met general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Bhupendra Yadav, over lunch at his residence and discussed the political stalemate.

THE CONTENTION
The BJP leadership claims to have the support of 121 MLAs –– the party has won 105 seats and 16 independent MLAs are supporting the party. The Sena wants the CM’s post on a rotation basis as per the 50:50 formula discussed by the parties before the Lok Sabha elections. However, the BJP is very clear that the CM’s post is non-negotiable and the future discussions could happen only around portfolio distribution. Here also, the BJP is adamant that the home ministry will not be given to the Sena.

Party leaders maintain that there was no discussion on splitting the CM’s tenure according to the 50:50 formula. Some senior party leaders claim that the formula was decided before the Lok Sabha elections and things have changed after the election.

“Sena itself contested in 124 seats, which is less than 50%, in the assembly elections. Where is the 50:50 argument coming from now?” a senior BJP told ET. “We are still willing to talk and sort out differences. The doors are open for Shiv Sena.”

LIKELY EQUATIONS
Currently, BJP has planned not to approach the governor for government formation without getting the deal finalised.

Shiv Sena won 56 seats and claims to have the support of 170 MLAs to form the government in case the BJP doesn’t agree to its demands. The party is counting on support from the NCP (54) and Congress (44) considering that the two parties might support them to keep the BJP out of power. However, the BJP leadership is convinced that the Congress will not go with the Sena and the latter has to come back to the BJP. “Everyone knows it’s not going to happen. In a few days, the Ram Janmabhoomi verdict is to happen. What will the Congress and NCP do when the Sena cheers the verdict? Will they withdraw support to Sena?” said the BJP leader.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, along with another Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, met Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. After the meeting, Raut said it was just a courtesy visit but added that there were political discussions as well. “We told him that a new government should be sworn in as soon as possible,” he said, adding that the Sena is not an obstacle to the formation of a new government.

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