Maharashtra Government Formation: No Equal Power-Sharing Deal Between BJP, Shiv Sena, Says Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said there was no deal between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena over equal distribution of portfolios, including sharing the post of chief minister.
The stalemate over Maharashtra government formation entered its 15th day on Friday. Results of the state assembly elections were declared on Oct. 24.
"As per my information, there was no deal between the BJP and the Shiv Sena over equal sharing of portfolios in Maharashtra,” Gadkari said after arriving in Mumbai. He had previously indicated he would not intervene to break the deadlock between his party and the Shiv Sena over sharing power in Maharashtra.
"Even the late Balasaheb Thackeray had once stressed on the arrangement between Shiv Sena-BJP that the party having more number of elected legislators will have a claim on the post of chief minister,” the Union Minister added.
A video of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis purportedly saying all posts would be shared equally, is being used by the Shiv Sena to justify its demand for the post for two and a half years.
However, Fadnavis, during media interactions last month, claimed no such deal was sealed between the BJP and the Shiv Sena ahead of the Oct. 21 assembly polls. Fadnavis's statement had irked the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
Gadkari's visit triggered speculation in political circles that he may step in to break the fortnight-long BJP-Shiv Sena logjam over sharing the chief minister's post, which is delaying government formation in Maharashtra. "I am not meeting any politician today. I may intervene in the matter if required. I am here to attend a public function today evening,” he said.
It is unclear whether the Union Minister would attend a core committee meeting of Maharashtra BJP leaders scheduled on Friday at the official residence of Fadnavis.