Amid suspense over the government formation, leaders of ruling allies, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena, met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari separately in Mumbai on Monday.
The first to call on the Governor was Shiv Sena’s Transport Minister in the outgoing cabinet, Diwakar Raote.
Later on, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Koshyari at Raj Bhavan.
“I called on the Governor to extend Diwali greetings only. It has been my tradition for the past over five decades,” Raote told IANS after emerging from the brief meeting.
He said there was no other (political) discussion and requested that “no political motives should be attributed to the courtesy call” on the Governor.
The meetings come at a time when the BJP and the Shiv Sena are engaged in a tug-of-war over the government formation, four days after the assembly results were announced on October 24.
While Fadnavis has confidently reiterated that the BJP-Sena ‘Maha-Yutia’ (grand alliance) will return to power, the ally Sena has been playing hardball demanding the implementation of the 50-50 formula.
Meanwhile, the Raj Bhawan has stated that it is a courtesy visit in view of Diwali.
The Shiv Sena on Saturday demanded a written assurance from BJP over the 50-50 seat-sharing formula in Maharashtra.
A meeting of 56 newly-elected MLAs of the party was held at Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’, where it was decided that a letter on BJP letterhead and signed by senior leadership must be produced to confirm the 50-50 alliance deal agreed between Thackeray and Home Minister Amit Shah ahead of Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.
The party has also demanded that both the allies should get a chance to run the government for 2.5 years each so that Shiv Sena can also have a chief minister.
“In our meeting, it was decided that like Amit Shah ji had promised 50-50 formula before Lok Sabha polls, similarly both allies should get chance to run the government for 2.5 years each so that Shiv Sena should also have a CM. Uddhav ji should get this assurance in writing from BJP,” Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik.
Meanwhile, posters calling Aaditya Thackeray the “future Chief Minister” have surfaced in parts of Mumbai after the poll results, indicating that Sena workers want him to take the top job despite his father ruling the move-out.
The BJP-Sena combine bagged around 160 seats in Maharashtra, way below their expectation of crossing the 200-mark.