Tug of war continues in Maharashtra politics, as Shiv Sena demands Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to clarify his stand on the 50:50 deal and call Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray with some feasible terms. The deadline for government formation is midnight on Friday and 15 days after the Maharashtra election results were declared on October 24, the BJP-Sena feud remains unresolved. Shiv Sena has refused to back down on its demand for a “50:50” partnership with the BJP, including rotational chief ministership and has moved its MLAs to a hotel in Mumbai in an apparent attempt to prevent defections to the BJP. At the same time, Congress moved its MLAs to Jaipur. All the political parties have already caged their MLAs to prevent them from getting auctioned in power bargain.
When Afternoon Voice contacted NCP leader and Advocate Majeed Memon he said, “The BJP is desperately trying to remain in power by immoral and moral method. There are allegations from two Congress MLA stating that bribe offers are coming. This is a serious matter and should be reported to the Election Commission and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The BJP headquarters from Maharashtra is also saying that they are prepared to give more plum portfolios to Shiv Sena. And this is literally auctioning of the cabinet ministries which should be condemned.”
When asked him, are they worried about BJP poaching their MLAs for forming the government he replied, “BJP’s poaching attempts are going on and they are expert in horse trading. But in Maharashtra they will be not able to do that because Sharad Pawar has already made a public statement two days ago that the skill of Amit Shah is on test in the state and they will not allow him to indulge in horse trading.”
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said BJP should prove its majority and stake claim. “They should get not just 15 days, but one month to prove their majority in the assembly, the single largest party should get the opportunity to form government first. If the Governor calls the single largest party to form government and their Chief Minister takes oath, then they have to show their majority on the floor of the house. If they fail, then others can form government. The Sena can too. But it is only fair that the largest party should get the chance first.”
NCP leader Vidya Chavan said, “A Congress MLA has said that BJP had made a proposal of paying Rs 50 crore to a Shiv Sena MLA. BJP is known for horse trading activities and look at the situation in Goa and Karnataka. Reddy brothers in Karnataka are involved in horse trading activities. Since both Congress and Shiv Sena are not willing to support BJP so they will use the same tactics to woo MLAs from other parties.”
Amid instability, right wing Hindu leader Sambhaji Bhide visited ‘Matoshree‘, the residence of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray in suburban Bandra, on late Thursday evening. However, Thackeray was not at home and therefore Bhide, whose arrival was unpredicted, could not meet him, said a close aide of the Sena chief. But some media reports said Uddhav returned Bhide without meeting, to which Bhide’s close aide slammed such reports. Bhide’s surprise visit to Matoshree came amid the ongoing stand-off between the Sena and BJP, the two saffron allies, over chief minister’s post after the Maharashtra assembly polls. With a virtual communication breakdown between the alliance partners, Sambhaji Bhide volunteered to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence Matoshree to conduct a fresh round of negotiations.
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil told AV, “The meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was to discuss the legal implications of the delay in government formation. The BJP-Sena alliance has won a clear majority and based on that, a government should have been formed. We discussed with the Governor the implications and legal options in the circumstances.”
But the BJP has also not budged from its stand that Devendra Fadnavis will be Chief Minister for a full term, with no time-share with the Shiv Sena.