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Will Sena sit in opposition?

Some leaders from Shiv Sena want the party to rethink about its plan to supp
ort BJP.

UdhdhavThe Shiv Sena may be been planning to extend support to the BJP in Maharashtra but many leaders are having a second thoughts about it. Some leaders from the Sena are not keen to join the BJP led government as they feel that the party may get a raw deal. According to them, if the BJP doesn’t assign 13 ministerial berth and good portfolios then Sena should sit in the opposition and rebuild the party. Shiv Sena which had initially refused to offer more than 130 seats to BJP had to soften its stand after BJP won 123 seats and emerged as the single largest party.

Sena had lost its bargaining power after NCP came forward to support the BJP. On the other hand, the saffron party too wants to keep Shiv Sena in check and is unwilling to compromise. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had called a meeting to decide the future course of action to be taken while offering support to the BJP. Sena leaders had already forwarded a proposal to the BJP citing its demands for portfolios. They are of the view that Sena should offer support to BJP only if its demands are fulfilled.

Gajanan-KirtikarShiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar said, “This means that in a full-strength council of ministers with 42 berths, Sena should get 13 berths. It’s not possible for us to accept anything less than that. In case things don’t fall in place; we would be ready to sit in the opposition benches rather than compromising on the party’s pride and prestige.”

Sena leaders had met union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and gave their final offer demanding at least four important ministerial portfolios that includes the coveted finance ministry. Earlier, the Sena was keen on bagging the post of deputy chief minister and other portfolios like higher and technical education, irrigation and health. On the other hand, BJP wants Sena to join the government first and later have discussions pertaining to allotment of portfolios.

“The Sena has a strength of 63 MLAs in the new assembly. The BJP needs our support to survive the numbers test on the floor of the house. The party is wary of the unconditional support offered by the NCP. At the same time, the BJP wants to keep the Sena on a tight leash. This is not to Matoshree’s liking. It will be better if we sit in the opposition and make a plan to rebuild the party,” said a Sena functionary.

Former Shiv Sena MP and noted editor Bharat Kumar Raut too had suggested that the Sena take up the role of a constructive opposition instead of playing a junior role in a BJP-led government.

Earlier the Sena had said that it is ready to support any leader chosen by BJP as the next chief minister of the state.

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