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HomeEditorialBJP-Shiv Sena tussle in Maharashtra continues

BJP-Shiv Sena tussle in Maharashtra continues

As Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena continue to lock horns over power-sharing in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis could be the new Chief Minister as there are incorrigible whispers around. BJP is all set to form the government in the state on its own. The current scenario is that except the ruling parties of Shiv Sena and BJP, NCP are the most accepted parties in the state. The people of Maharashtra have shown love for them. The way Pawar pulled this powerful show during assembly elections, one thing is worth noticing that they have their set of voters and nothing can stop them if they try hard.

The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in Maharashtra by winning 105 seats. The party fought the election in alliance with Shiv Sena, which bagged 56 seats. However, after the election results were announced, Shiv Sena demanded 50:50 portfolio sharing formula in state. Devendra Fadnavis said that Shiv Sena was not promised CM’s post for two-and-a-half years when the alliance was finalised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. At this point neither Sena is in a mood to compromise, nor BJP is in a mood to agree upon Sena’s demands. So without wasting time, BJP is set to form the government on its own and would take an oath on November 5th or 6th. The swearing-in ceremony will take place at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The BJP is determined to form the government even if Shiv Sena keeps itself away from the alliance. Notably, the responsibilities for organising the oath-taking ceremony have been assigned to BJP MLAs Prasad Lad and Chandrakant Patil. Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told news agency that the party is firm on its demand of 50-50 portfolio-sharing formula. Right now things may look dicey, but later on very probable that after the usual going back and forth, the Shiv Sena and BJP will come together to form the government.

Since day one Shiv Sena quarreled for seat sharing. Then their strike rate is much lesser than BJP. The BJP will ideally like to take Shiv Sena’s support. However SS (Shiv Sena) would like to negotiate hard to get as many ministers in the cabinet and take the most important portfolios (Home, Finance, PWD, Irrigation etc). The BJP is in no mood to give into Shiv Sena’s demands and given NCP’s open offer of support may choose to form a government without Shiv Sena if Sena remains adamant. Eventually it will be Shiv Sena who will decide whether they want to work under BJP or not, but frankly speaking they have no options too. Party leaders from both sides have started hinting towards a possible reconciliation. Both parties have been deprived of power in the state from 15 years. They can’t afford to lose such an opportunity just for the sake of their ego.

Another weird but a possible combination could be that NCP forms the government with the support of INC and Shiv Sena but that is highly unlikely.

It is most likely that Shiv Sena has to offer support to BJP. This is because BJP governments in most states have had very good track record (Gujarat, MP, Chattisgarh). If BJP governs well in Maharashtra and Shiv Sena is not present in the government then in next election Shiv Sena will lose even more seats. Shiv Sena would not like to risk such a scenario and instead choose to partner with BJP so that it is able to maintain its position in Maharashtra. Essentially, the CM must be from the single largest party. Ministries should be allotted proportionately to the respective strengths. There is some room for bargaining either for DyCM or for a few important portfolios. If SS want CM, major portfolio and equal number of ministries it amounts to simple black mailing. BJP must not succumb to blackmailing. Now there are following options:

If both the parties fail to draw some conclusion, then re-election be ordered after a brief President’s rule. In this scenario, BJP must go alone. SS will lose like anything as it is on the verge of extinction like INC being a dynastic party. If Raj Thackeray is on extinction, Aaditya Thackeray is no better. In nutshell, BJP must not make any compromise beyond limit. In this scenario, Maharashtra may head for President’s rule if the new government in the state is not in place by November 7. The tenure of the existing Legislative Assembly ends on November 8.

People of Maharashtra have given mandate not to any party but to the alliance comprising BJP, Shiv Sena and other parties. A new government will have to be in place within the stipulated time. But the main hurdle in government formation is Sena’s demand for Chief Minister’s post for 2.5 years. If Shiv Sena wants to form the government with options they have in hand, they should take risk, if not without wasting time they both should come to some sorts of agreement. No matter what, Devendra would be the next CM of Maharashtra.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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