Shiv Sena Cancels BJP Meet As Fadnavis Denies Sharing Of Chief Minister’s Post
Hours after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis denied that Shiv Sena was assured the post for two-and-a-half years as part of a power-sharing "formula", Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday cancelled his party's meeting with Bharatiya Janata Party on Maharashtra government formation.
The development might potentially worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties.
The BJP-Shiv Sena meeting in Mumbai was to be attended by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and senior leaders of the regional party.
"Union Minister Prakash Javdekar and party leader Bhupendra Yadav were supposed to attend the meeting to start discussions on Maharashtra government formation from the BJP side, while the Shiv Sena would have been represented by Subhash Desai and Sanjay Raut," a senior Shiv Sena leader said.
Thackeray has been insisting that the 50:50 formula on sharing of power was "agreed upon" between himself, BJP President Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Shiv Sena had demanded a written assurance from the BJP for implementing "equal formula for sharing of power" before holding talks on staking the claim to form the next alliance government in the state.
On Tuesday, the Shiv Sena also released an old video clip to "rebut" the chief minister’s claims on sharing of power in which the latter purportedly talked about equal sharing of posts and responsibilities in the BJP-led state government.
In a related development, Fadnavis announced that Shah will not be attending the BJP legislature party meeting on Wednesday. A BJP leader had last week said that Shah might visit Thackeray.
Ever since the BJP's tally fell in the recently-held Maharashtra assembly elections, the results for which were announced on Oct. 24, the Shiv Sena has raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties for a period of two-and-a-half years.
Shiv Sena MLAs last week demanded that Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray, a first-time legislator, be made the chief minister.
In the elections held for the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP won 105 seats, a loss of 17 seats compared to its 2014 tally. The Shiv Sena's tally also came down to 56 seats from 63 in 2014. The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party won 54 and the Congress bagged 44 seats.